The Telegraph
Friday , May 9 , 2014
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Team to study MeECL losses

Shillong, May 8: Political parties in Meghalaya today constituted what they called a “fact-finding team” to undertake a study to expose the reasons which led to the failures of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL). The corporation is not only running at a loss but has debts worth crores of rupees in power purchase.

This decision was taken at an all-party meeting convened by the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) here to discuss on the overall power scenario in the state.

The parties termed the present crisis as “unprecedented and unacceptable,” especially the 11 hours of power shutdown in the state.

UDP legislator Jemino Mawthoh will lead the team as chairman NPP legislator, James K. Sangma as secretary while two representatives each from other political parties are its members.

Besides the UDP representatives, the meeting was attended by representatives from the BJP, NPP, Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Khun Hynńiewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM). The ruling Congress did not send any representatives.

According to the UDP leaders, the Garo National Council will be part of the team.

Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting, Mawthoh said the team would study as well as tour power project sites to know the ground realities, especially the inadequacies and failures of the MeECL as well as that of the state government.

“After finding out the facts, we will go to the people and adopt other means to put pressure on MeECL and the government to take corrective measures,” Mawthoh said.

The all-party meeting also resolved to put forth demands to the government which include a CBIprobe into the 126MW Myntdu-Leshka hydel project, a white paper on the power scenario related to generation, distribution and transmission of power and revamping of the MeECL by allowing it to function independently.

On the failures of the MeECL, especially itshuge debts on power purchase, Mawthoh said the state-owned public sector undertaking cannot run at a loss and the issue related to financial management has to be addressed.

“If the chief minister said the MeECL was losing because it was purchasing power at a higher rate and sold it at a cheaper rate, the government should explain what made the MeECL adopt such a method,” Mawthoh said.

The political parties also viewed the deregulation of power supply by Neepco, just because the MeECL had made a part payment of Rs 30 crore out of the total outstanding dues of Rs 379.16 crore, as only a stop-gap arrangement.

The MeECL also has a total outstanding liability of Rs 1,745 crore with Rs 871 crore as an overdue for payment. The liabilities include dues for power purchase and transmission charges.

“The part payment of Rs 30 crore is just a temporary arrangement. We need to think about the problem the state is going to face from today and in the coming months and arrest that problem,” Mawthoh said.

The political parties also discussed the recent hike in power tariff by the MeECL at 13 per cent and termed it abnormal. They asked MeECL for timely issuance of electricity bills.