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Power scenario in GH bad: James

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SHILLONG, March 18: Power Minister James Sangma on Thursday informed the House that the power scenario in the Garo Hills region has been afflicted with huge losses and the state government is working its finger to the bone to curtail them.
The power minister revealed this while replying to the Congress MLA Zenith Sangma, who had said that creating the post of Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Revenue and Monitoring in the rank of Chief Engineer Electrical in Garo Hills region under the MePDCL is wastage of public exchequer. “What justification will be given by the government in creating this OSD posted in Garo Hills region,” Zenith said.
Replying to the Congress MLA’s query, James maintained that the government chose to put special focus to improve the power sector in Garo Hills because the power scenario in the region, especially in distribution sector, has been afflicted with various problems.
Corroborating his assertion, James added, “In terms of the billing efficiency of Garo Hills, Chokpot revenue sub-division and Baghmara revenue sub-division have a billing efficiency of only 12.86 and 12.12 per cent respectively. Similarly, Mendipathar revenue sub-division has a billing efficiency of only 22.64 per cent and, in stark contrast, billing efficiency of Sohiong stands at 82.09 per cent while East Khasi Hills stands at 89.60 per cent”.
Giving a clear picture of Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses, he said while the Garo Hills region incurs huge losses, Shillong circle has been performing exceptionally well.
“In East Garo Hills circle, which comes under Western Zone, the AT&C losses start at a phenomenal 83.91 per cent and in West Garo Hills, the AT&C losses stand at 61.50 per cent. In contrast, the AT&C losses in Shillong circle stand at 12.54 per cent, which is very low and good,” the power minister said.
Taking into account the scenario in Garo Hills, it was felt that the-need-of-the-hour move was to put special focus to improve it (power scene) by bringing up the billing efficiency and bring down aggregate technical and commercial losses, he said.
James said that the state government, after taking cognizance, decided to create the post for OSD who is tasked with submitting monthly reports, which will, in turn, better the power scenario in the region.
“The post of OSD is in terms of a monitoring role and for this he is supported by revenue team of MePDCL based in Tura,” the power minister added.
Joining in with a supplementary, East Shillong MLA, Ampareen Lyngdoh urged James to put the monthly report of the OSD in the Floor, stating that they would like to see whether all the losses have been assisted to any extent. The Power Minister agreed to do so.

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