NEEPCO likely to restore power supply to Meghalaya
Shillong, May 5
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]eghalaya will soon get a respite from long hours of power cuts after state-owned NEEPCO decided to resume electricity supply to this north eastern state, but only after the government release some amount from the over Rs 370 crore that NEEPCO owes.
“NEEPCO will soon be restoring uninterrupted power to Meghalaya after the latter pays Rs 30 crore and additional Rs 20 crore for the next three months, an agreement both parties arrived at a meeting in Delhi on Friday,” a senior power department official said.
He said the power department is likely to release Rs 30 crore to NEEPCO (North Eastern Electric Power Corporation) on Monday or the subsequent days.“As soon as we make payment of Rs 30 crore, NEEPCO has agreed to restore power supply with immediate effect,” Power commissioner and secretary J Lyngdoh said.
He also informed that the state government will be paying Rs 20 crore for the next three months as part of the effort of the state government to pay off the amount of dues the state-owned Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Ltd (MeECL) owes to the Central power corporation.
Lyngdoh also revealed that within three months while the government pays Rs 20 crore to NEEPCO it will work-out on plans as to how to make the rest of the payment of Rs 379 crore as part of a bailout.
NEEPCO had started regulating power to Meghalaya since last year as the MeECL had failed to pay off the pending dues for power purchase running to Rs 379 crore.
With the Central power corporation refusing to supply power to the state, the power scenario in the state became worst with the MeECL forced to resort to long hours of load shedding throughout the state.
It was only after the Centre intervened that NEEPCO changed their minds otherwise its chairman & managing director P C Pankaj had demanded a ‘handsome amount’ before deregulating power supply to Meghalaya.
Meghalaya, once a power surplus state, suffered the worst power shortage in the past four decades forcing the MeECL to schedule up to eight hours of power cuts affecting life and business in the state.