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Power units back on track; load-shedding withdrawn

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SHILLONG, July 11: The state government has withdrawn the ongoing load-shedding running up to four hours a day, making consumers heave a sigh of relief.
Power Minister Prestone Tynsong said two units of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) have been repaired. A unit each of ONGC Tripura Power Project Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (OTPC) and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has also been restored.
“We have thus decided to withdraw the load-shedding from Monday midnight,” he told reporters on Monday.
The same news was shared by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma through social media posts.
Thanking people for bearing with the government even after suffering from load-shedding, Tynsong said machines do break down sometimes necessitating load-shedding.
Admitting that students and business people have suffered due to the load-shedding, he said repairing the units of the Leshka hydropower project will take 3-4 weeks more.
Meghalaya requires 6.20 million units of power daily and also has to transfer 3.75 million units to power banks per day since the state withdrew power during the lean season.
“We have a requirement of 9.95 million units and right now, we have a shortage of 1.05 million units and we are meeting this shortage by purchasing power from the open market,” Tynsong said.
On several power projects for which MoU was signed with private companies, he said very few besides NEEPCO are interested in executing the proposed power projects mostly planned in 2007.
Tynsong, however, said the state has nothing to lose as the government did not spend a pie. He added that the government is not in a hurry to withdraw the Atma Nirbhar loan as it has an interest payment component.
The minister admitted the MeECL has huge liabilities including dues for generating companies and for extending terminal benefits to retired employees.
The state Cabinet had recently decided to restructure the board of the MeECL and its three subsidiaries.
The post of chairman-cum-managing director of the MeECL will be segregated with a full-time MD to be selected by a “transparent process” from among bureaucrats, technocrats or through lateral entry.
Tynsong said the paperwork is on and a search committee headed by Chief Secretary RV Suchiang will float an expression of interest for interested persons to apply for the posts.

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