In a big sigh of relief to the citizens of the state, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government on Tuesday announced the lifting of the seven-hour load-shedding imposed during the past three days.
“I am happy to inform the citizens of the state and all the consumers of the state that the load shedding will be removed completely in the next 24 hours,” Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters.
Normal life was thrown out of gear due to the sudden imposition of load shedding by the state government’s power department from February 14.
Sangma said the decision was taken after discussion with the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).
“We have discussed with PGCIL and necessary steps are taken to ensure that the load shedding is completely taken out,” he added.
Sangma however informed that the PGCIL has decided to go ahead with the regulation of power in the state without waiting for the REC to release the payment for outstanding dues under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.
The chief minister also informed that the cabinet of Meghalaya had approved a loan amounting to Rs 1,345 crore to be taken by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) through the REC.
This amount was part of the government of India’s Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan which was availed by all the states.
He said the objective was to enable the state companies to pay the pending dues to the different generation companies like NEEPCO, NHPC, NTPC, PGCIL, OTPC that were there for many many years.
“For Meghalaya, keeping all the factors in mind along with late charges, the amount came to Rs 1,345 crores. Govt of India and the REC has decided to release the amounts in two trenches – Rs 672.86 crore each,” he said.
The REC has approved the first trench of Rs 672 crore and of this, Rs 336.43 crore has already been released to the different agencies,” the CM said while adding that the rest of the 75 percent is yet to be released by the REC.
Sangma further informed that the funds are released from the REC straight to the generation companies as they are not routed through the state government.
Out of Rs 336.43 crore, the CM said Rs 127 crore was paid to NEEPCO, Rs 14 crore to NHPC, Rs 144 crore to NTPC and approximately Rs 25 crore was paid to PGCIL. According to him, the REC will clear the first trench very soon.