The power department has set a target to bring a turn around in the overall efficiency of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) within a period of six months.
“We are positive that we will be able to bring a turnaround in six months’ time. No doubt it is very challenging but we look towards it with a lot of optimism,” Power Minister James K Sangma told reporters on Friday.
The minister has announced this after chairing a meeting with the chairman cum managing director of MeECL Arunkumar Kembhavi, directors, engineers and leaders of associations.
He said the meeting was convened following the state government’s decision to provide 100% guarantee to the MeECL for the atma nirbhar loan of Rs 1,345.72 crore.
“I felt it is very important to have a meeting with the MeECL to convey the decision of 100 percent guarantee by the government comes with certain conditions…that MeECL would have to bring a turnaround and there were certain assets which would be mortgaged to the government in lieu of the 100 percent guarantee given,” he said.
Informing that he would have a monthly review on the status of the turn around, the minister said, “This is in order that we monitor it and ensure timely turn around of the MeECL, distribution and revenue, so that we keep to our commitment that we have given in terms of taking atma nirbhar loan and guarantee by the government.”
Highlighting some of the measures taken for achieving the target, Sangma said the department will continue with its drive to realize power outstanding dues pending with the HT and LT consumers across the state.
“This drive will continue because we have achieved a fair amount of success in the drive to realize our dues,” he said.
He said there are lots of centrally sponsored schemes and externally sponsored aided projects towards the system improvement of the distribution network which are presently implemented by the MeECL.
“Since these are very integral and importance for achieving our turn around, we have been very clear on this in terms of closure, in terms of timely completion, meeting deadlines for these ongoing schemes, these have to be strictly kept in mind as we have to see timely completion of all these projects which are being implemented right now,” he said.
In terms of generation, he said there are two small hydro projects of Ganol and Riangdo which are in the stage of implementation. “I was given a status report on both of these. The deadline for completion of both the projects is in 2022 and we have instructed the MeECL that these have to be met by any means,” he said.
The minister also said that the department has realized that all three utilities of the MeECL that is generation, transmission and distribution – have one common issue or concern that they are facing which is the fact that there are many vacancies against the sanctioned posts.
“Looking at the financial health, the power department has put a stop to any fresh recruitment which was to take place in the MeECL and today we have instructed MeECL if there are posts which are absolutely critical and necessary, that justification has to be given and accordingly we will look at how fill up certain vacancies which are affecting the functioning and which are critical in nature,” he said.
“I was also informed there are only 3 LDA posts in the MeECL from among 4,800 employees. This is the state of affairs in the MeECL which is why we have to look at it but however we have to be prudent in our approach and very practical in our approach to be filling up these posts less we have a financial burden,” he added.
During the meeting, the minister also inquired about pendency about the audit and statement of accounts whether these accounting issues have been resolved or not. “We have been told that since 2017, many of these accounts are still not audited and this has been affecting our ratings as a DISCOM and ratings of the Corporation.
So I have been assured by the MeECL that this matter is being looked into and very soon this matter will be resolved at the earliest,” he said.