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Power Crisis in Mizoram Amid COVID-19

  by NEWSNER , 2021-04-29 08:58:39

Power Crisis in Mizoram Amid COVID-19

Amid raging wildfires, COVID-19 surge, death, devastation, and disease, Mizoram is additionally reeling under an acute power crisis with over Rs 130 crore thanks to six public sector undertakings (PSUs) for purchase of power. this is often because the government has not received its fund share from the Centre, state power and electricity minister R. Lalzirliana said on Wednesday.


The fund crunch came to light when two PSUs – North Eastern electrical power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC) – sent letters to the Mizoram power and electricity department, asking it to pay dues amounting to quite Rs 44 crore, failing which the businesses warned to cash the “Letter of Credit” (LC) and disrupt power supply to the power-deficit state.


Mizoram purchases about 85 percent of electrical power from outside. Six PSUs supply power to Mizoram, including NEEPCO, NHPC, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), ONGC Tripura power service Limited (OTPC), and power system Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).


According to Lalzirliana, outstanding dues to the government payable to the six PSUs as of Wednesday stand at Rs 133.38 crore.


He said that quite Rs 96 crore is pending with the state exchequer for clearance while an expenditure sanction of Rs 37.31 crore is being sought from the state finance department. He added that the government faced a fund crunch because it couldn't receive its state share from the Central government thanks to the outbreak of COVID-19.


According to the minister, Mizoram consumes about 107 Megawatt power during peak hours and 48.5 Megawatt during the off-peak period. The state’s power generation is minimal, he said.


He said the government is making effort to stabilize things and pay its dues to the PSUs to make sure an uninterrupted power supply.


According to data accessed by EastMojo from the state power and electricity department, the state’s outstanding dues to NEEPCO now stand at Rs 59.27 crore, Rs 33.72 crore to NTPC, Rs 1.45 crore to NHPC, Rs 12.34 crore to PGCIL, Rs 19.88 crore to OTPC and Rs 6.72 crore is thanks to Tripura Power Generation Limited (TPGL).


On a mean, the government wont to spend Rs 32-33 crore a month for the purchase of power.


The state power and electricity department had generated Rs 247.76 crore revenue during fiscal 2019-2020. within the 2020-2021 annual budget, Rs 430 crore was allocated to the facility and electricity department and Rs 300 core within the current fiscal 2021-2022.


Due to overlapping, the department did not clear its dues in time, consistent with officials.


According to the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Power on March 18, if current dues remain unpaid beyond 45 days of billing, the LC will invariably be cashed.


Power supply will start as long as there's valid LC or advance payment is formed by the Dicoms (states), it said.


In its letter on April 20, the NEEPCO said outstanding dues payable by the Mizoram government as of April 19 stood at Rs 42.49 crore, out of which Rs 9.71 crore is outstanding for quite 45 days.


Further, another Rs 11.28 crore dues will cross 45 days on April 25, the letter said.


The NHPC also said that the entire outstanding dues of the Mizoram government have accumulated to Rs 2.49 crore on Pan American Day, out of which Rs 1.42 crore is due for quite 45 days.


Both the PSUs warned that they might proceed with encashment of LC if the government fails to pay within a stipulated time.


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