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Meghalaya on the Verge of Electricity Crisis Again

  by NEWSNER , 2021-03-20 11:49:18

Meghalaya on the Verge of Electricity Crisis Again

Meghalaya is on the brink of another power crisis, the third during a month, as utility NEEPCO sent a notice to the government, stating that it might regulate supply from March 20 if Rs 504.41 crore dues aren't cleared, a politician said on Wednesday. The Union Power Ministry has also expressed concern over the lack of the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Ltd (MePDCL) to clear dues whilst a loan of Rs 1,345.72 crore has been sanctioned thereto for the aim.


In a letter to the North Eastern Regional Load Despatch Centre of power grid Operation Corp on Tuesday, NEEPCO's executive (Commercial) NK Mao said that despite constant persuasion at various levels, MePDCL has did not clear the outstanding dues against the acquisition of power from its power stations.


Dues of MePDCL still escalate and therefore the outstanding for quite 45 days have accumulated to Rs 156.70 crore as of March 15, and there's another pending of Rs 347.71 crore, taking the entire dues to Rs 504.41 crore, Mao said within the letter.


"Given the above-mentioned situation, NEEPCO has no other option but to exercise its option provided for by central electricity regulatory commission (Regulation of Power Supply) Regulations, 2010," he said.


Notice has also been served for round-the-clock regulation of supply to MePDCL from all the facility stations of NEEPCO for 6 months with effect from March 20, or till such time the outstanding dues of quite 45 days are liquidated, whichever is earlier, Mao said.


The Union Power Ministry has also written to the government, threatening to withdraw the Rs 1,345 crore loan sanctioned to clear pending dues to central power generation companies.


"It may be a matter of concern that MePDCL is unable to avail of this chance extended by the govt of India to clear their dues... the MePDCL could also be advised to request REC and PFC to disburse the remaining instalments to NEEPCO... failing which sanction of the loan are going to be susceptible to be withdrawn," Tanmay Kumar, joint secretary within the Power Ministry, said in his March 12 letter.


The MePDCL has availed Rs 386.86 crore thus far from the agricultural Electrification Corp (REC) and Power Finance Corp, a senior power official here said.


This amount was disbursed to the central utilities in January because of the first instalment of the primary tranche of the loan, he said.


Also Read: Power Purchase Loan to be Cleared by Meghalaya Government through Sanctioned Loans