Conrad warns Cong against Mukul’s leadership

SHILLONG, March 10: In a frontal attack on his political bête noire, Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday cautioned the Congress rank and file that if he continues to lead the party, the fate of the Congress will be similar to that of the messy MeECL.
He said this during his reply on the discussion on Governor’s address while touching about the issues raised by the Opposition on the MeECL crisis.
Recalling that the Leader of Opposition had recently stated that the ouster of the CM and the Power minister would help resolve the mess in the power sector, the Chief Minister said that it is not in their hands and the MLAs and people at large will decide.  The CM pointed out that one has to realise that several factors resulted in the mess in MeECL.
He informed that when unbundling took place in the entire process there were terms and conditions for terminal benefits and the then Congress government said that they will pay Rs 840 crore terminal benefits but not a single rupee was given.
Informing that the MeECL had to pay the amount from their coffers, he said that from 2010, Rs 600 crore have been paid.
“If the government had cleared this liability maybe MeECL would have been in a slightly better position,” he observed.
Bringing down MeECL losses: James
Power Minister James Sangma today admitted that the MeECL is suffering huge Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses.
Replying to a call attention motion in the Assembly on Wednesday, he said the AT&C losses for the MeECL was 40% in the past years but the government has managed to bring them down. He said the losses would be brought down even further.
Sangma said in an attempt to reduce the losses, the MeECL has intensified its disconnection drive against consumers who have huge outstanding dues.
Stating that the government will further create an outreach on its one-time settlement, he said it will set up one-time settlement counters in different parts of the state for people to take advantage of the scheme. He said the scheme has been extended till March 31.
The Minister denied allegations that the department applies different yardsticks to factories and consumers asserting that the corporation looks at all its consumers equally. The MeECL did not have an impressive billing efficiency earlier. It has now increased to 70% from 62%.
“We will further strengthen our distribution and transmission network to bring down the AT&C losses,” Sangma said.
Earlier, moving the call attention motion, Nongpoh MLA, Mayralborn Syiem said the government should take measures to stop electricity theft and ensure that the electricity bill reaches people on time.

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