Load shedding in Meghalaya unlikely as issues with NEEPCO resolved: CM Conrad Sangma
It is unlikely for the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) to regulate the power supply to the state since all the issues and concerns that NEEPCO had with the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) have been resolved, said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday.
“I have called the meeting at my level and have discussed the issue. We have resolved most of the issues, and we are sure it (load shedding) will not happen,” Sangma said.
However, he said that it is still unclear whether NEEPCO would regulate the power supply (from midnight of March 20) as per NEEPCO's previous notification.
“Like last time, the NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation of India) simply cut it. So, we will wait and see, but from the point of views of the issues and concerns that NEEPCO had, we have resolved all those issues. So, we don’t expect it (load shedding) to happen, but I don’t have the latest report,” Sangma said.
NEEPCO had issued a notification recently to regulate the power supply to Meghalaya following the failure of the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) to clear the outstanding dues of Rs 504.41 crore.
NEEPCO wanted the second instalment of the first tranche, and the same is being released, Sangma informed reporters.
“The release (of payment) was taking a bit of time because there were some internal issues which MeECL had to resolve with Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Finance Corporation (PFC), which are the two agencies giving the Atmanirbhar loan. Those issues have been resolved, and the second instalment of the first tranche may have already been released as we speak,” he said.
When asked about a long-term solution to the problem, the CM said, “We are moving forward; these are dues that were there for a long time. We took a tough call (by availing Atmanirbhar loan). We managed to restructure the entire amount.”
He also stated that there has to be a technical improvement to reduce AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) and transmission-distribution losses and to improve billing efficiency.
“Both these reforms have to take place together, but we are in the process. It is not an easy road. We are hopeful we will see things improve. Now, as we are facing these challenges and these challenges are allowing us to remove some hurdles. No doubt, it is a big mess, but whatever we are doing now is leading to reforms. Some will give short-term results, most medium-term and other long-term results,” he said.
Earlier, the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited issued a notice which stated that because of the power regulation imposed by NEEPCO, the MePDCL would resort to load shedding with effect from midnight of March 20.
The load shedding schedule is as follows:
Garo Hills and Shillong: 00-06 hrs
Jaintia and Ri Bhoi (Public): 06-09 hrs
Khasi Hills, Jaintia Industries, and Shillong: 09-12 hrs
Jaintia and Jaintia Industries and Ri Bhoi (public) and Garo Hills: 12-14 hrs
Khasi Hills and Jaintia Industries, including Shillong and Garo Hills: 14-16 hrs
Jaintia and Jaintia Industries and Byrnihat industries: 16-18 hrs
Byrnihat industries and Ri Bhoi (public): 18-20 hrs
Byrnihat industries: 20-24 hrs
However, as per the notice, the schedule and duration may change depending on “the real-time grid condition and the quantum of the load to be shed.”