| James P.K. Sangma addresses the Assembly in Shillong on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, March 20: Chief minister Mukul M. Sangma today announced that his government was finalising a comprehensive policy on new and renewable energy to fight the state’s power crisis.
Sangma made a suo motu statement in the House in relation to yesterday’s power failure in the Garo hills. He said the power outage was caused by the failure of the 132KV Mawngap-Nangalbibra line, which supplies power to the area.
“Immediately after that, Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) staff and officers swung into action. The fault locator was utilised and it was revealed that the fault was in the Nongstoin-Nangalbibra sector, 18.5km away from Nongstoin,” he said.
Sangma said a team was sent from Nongstoin to rectify the fault. “The fault was located in the Wahlyngdoh area where a jumper had burnt out. Repair work was immediately started in spite of the adverse conditions and work was finally completed at 1.27am today.”
Power supply to the Garo hills region was restored at 2.04am, he added.
Yesterday was not the first instance when the western region was left groping in the dark. On March 14, the area had faced a similar situation.
“As has been informed to the House on earlier occasions, there are a number of constraints which create difficulties for the MeECL in ensuring uninterrupted power supply,” Sangma said.
The line, he said, was an old one, which was commissioned in 1982.
“The line passes through forests and difficult terrain, which is not populated and inhospitable. This makes work very difficult for operations and maintenance teams,” he said, adding that the demand for power in the Garo hills has substantially increased.
Currently, the load demand in the region hovers around 50-60MW.
The chief minister said the only way to solve the power problem was the early completion of the Agia-Nongal transmission line and the Ganol hydel power project, for which steps had already been taken.
Replying to a cut motion moved by the National People’s Party (NPP) legislator James P.K. Sangma, the chief minister said the government would soon announce the comprehensive policy on new and renewable energy.
He said the Meghalaya renewable energy policy would seek to give incentives to potential investors in renewable energy and several solar plants are expected to come up in the state.