SHILLONG, Sept 28 - With Meghalaya reeling under acute power shortage and load-shedding, new Power Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar has called a review meeting of the Power department next week.
�I have also called the Chairman cum Managing Director of Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MECL) for the meeting,� Dhar said.
Despite having huge hydel and thermal power production capacity, the State has not been able to harness it and over the past several years it has been facing extreme power crisis. MECL has been burdened with debt and the government has been bailing it out time and again.
From this month, MECL has resorted to load shedding throughout the State. Till August this year, MECL owes NEEPCO Rs 707.76 crore as power dues. NEEPCO has stopped sale of power to the State till the dues are cleared.
�The government is in the process of clearing some of the dues of NEEPCO but since the government too is facing financial crisis, we cannot say when or how much dues would be cleared,� the Minister stated.
MECL, earlier, has written to the State Government to stand guarantee for availing a loan from Power Finance Corporation Ltd to settle the dues with NEEPCO. It has also sent a proposal to the government to avail benefit under Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana for clearing the dues.
The Minister said the Power department is trying to find out if alternative sources of energy could be harnessed like solar and wind power to overcome some of the shortages.