Staff Correspondent

SHILLONG, Feb 14: Justifying seven hours of daily load shedding from today, Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeCL) has said that it barely has money to pay salaries to its employees due to “extreme financial condition”.

MeCL has posted on social media that there would be seven hours of load shedding starting today. In Shillong and Khasi Hills, the timing of the load shedding is 12 am to 3 am, 9 am to 12 pm and 7 pm to 8 pm.

Different timings of load shedding have been announced for Garo Hills, Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi, but each region would have total seven hours of load shedding.

“MeCL owes Rs 74.65 crore to Power Grid Corporation India Limited (PGCIL) as transmission charges, which we are not in a position to pay because of extreme financial condition of the corporation. We can barely afford the salaries of our employees,” MeCL stated.

The corporation has recently sought financial assistance of Rs 113.47 crore from the State government to “make payment of outstanding bills of the PGCIL”.

MeCL said it has sought the financial assistance to reinstate the letter of credit with the central generating stations.

“Deliberations are going on at the highest levels of the government,” MeCL officials said.

It said that due to its failure to make payment, PGCIL has issued a regulation notice. The extent of regulation is 70 MW. MeCL has been holding discussions with PGCIL to keep the notice in abeyance or defer it for a week.

“However, PGCIL wants a firm commitment on payment of 50 per cent of the dues within a week and a definite timeline to clear the rest of the debt,” officials added.

Regretting the inconvenience caused to the public, MeCL said it has been left with no other option, but to go for load shedding throughout the State from tonight. “Efforts are being earnestly made to find an early solution,” MeCL officials informed.