Friday, June 14, 2024

Whither the alloted Power Projects in Meghalaya?


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It has been five long years since Dr. Mukul Sangma had handed over in 2007 several hydro electric projects to various private companies just before the Assembly Elections of 2008. We the protagonists of the anti-MSEB lobby had welcomed the move since we felt that it was inept in handling projects and expected that these companies would take just a few years to establish these projects and turn the power scenario of the state around. However, one has started wondering what has actually happened behind the scene and began to question whether developing a hydro electric project is really difficult than one would like to think and perhaps our criticism of MeSEB was ill-conceived due to our ignorance. The last we read about those projects were about the inauguration by the Union Power Minister of the Mawphu HEP which is to be implemented by NEEPCO and about the Public Hearings of the Umngot HEP prepared by MeECL. The former was obviously a publicity stunt for whatever reasons as it has never been reported that NEEPCO has ever received the clearances from the CEA and the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) for the execution of the project.

And regarding Umngot HEP, the handling of this project by the government is highly questionable with the power crisis that we are in. It is learnt that the Detailed Project Report of this project had been completed by MeECL since 2010 but had not been submitted to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for their clearances as the government is indecisive as to who should execute this project. Now if the government is averse to let MeECL execute this project then it should have let the company, which had earlier been allotted this project, do so. But not to act, when the situation is as bad as it is, is letting the State down. The Umngot HEP is proposed to have an installation of 240 MW and the energy that is expected to be generated is about 1000 Million Units in a year. At Rs. 3 per unit, the loss would amount to Rs. 6000 Million or Rs. 600 Crores for 2 years. For a lay person that is a huge sum of money. The loss is further compounded when we have to import power to meet our requirements in the State; the major chunk of which goes to the heavily power subsidized factories which do not bring any benefits to the state at all. One is also keen to know what was the outcome of the recent attempt by the government to further attract private power developers into the state and if there were no takers, why so ?

On serious reflection, although we have heard that MeECL is in a very bad shape financially during these couple of years, its engineers however seem competent and quite capable to be able to execute four projects simultaneously of Leshka, Umtrew, Ganol and Lakroh and also in planning several other projects which are under investigation, in spite of the red tapism that we know exists in our administrative system. The government instead of giving cold shoulder to this organization should perhaps provide further support and encouragement to it and allow its engineers, who are mostly locals, to further the cause of developing the power potential of their own State and in the process help provide for more job opportunities to the educated unemployed youths. We expect the government to muster all the means at its disposal to develop this very crucial sector for the overall development of the state.

Yours etc,

K. Lynshing,

Shillong- 2

MTC in the dumps!


I’m a globetrotter and during my visit to Shillong, ! was shocked that to hear that MTC is in turmoil. How can the State Transport Service be in turmoil? I feel sad for the passengers and the workers of MTC. I’ve also heard that the Government is doing nothing to improve the situation. Moreover the workers have not been getting their salaries for five to six months. During my visit to Kerala, Assam etc…the state transport operates successfully and are earning huge revenues. However, this is invisible in Meghalaya. Most of the buses which are supposed to ply to different locations land up in the workshop and no initiative is taken to repair them. With all these complications, two questions arise in my mind? Is the collapse of MTC caused by corruption in the management? Or is it due to mismanagement by the Corporation and the ignorance of the Government?

Yours etc.,

Andy Lyngdoh,

Via email



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