Staff Correspondent

SHILLONG, Feb 13: Reeling under an acute fund crunch, coupled with the low water level at the Umiam reservoir, the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation limited (MePDCL) has notified that load-shedding would be imposed across the State from Sunday.

“Considering the low water level of Umiam reservoir, MePDCL is bound to impose load-shedding to its consumers throughout the state of Meghalaya from February 14 on rotational basis,” a MePDCL release stated.

The load-shedding will be imposed throughout Meghalaya area-wise and the details will be made available soon, the release said, adding that power has been regulated by the Power Grid Corporation India Limited (PGCIL).

Meghalaya is power deficient by at least 70 megawatt (MW). To offset this deficit, the State power corporation has been buying power from the Central power corporations. In the process, it has run into debts. As of date, the corporation owes money to Central PSUs like the PGCIL.

“We owe Rs 70 crore to the PGCIL and we are in talks to pay off this debt,” Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited Chairman-cum-Managing Director Arun Kembhavi stated.

He said the corporation is in talks with the Meghalaya Government so that the debt could be paid off to ensure that the power supply to the State is not regulated by the PGCIL. “We are also in talks with the PGCIL so that it does not regulate the power supply at the moment,” he added.

Apart from purchasing power from the Central power PSUs, the State is heavily dependent on the Umiam reservoir for the bulk of its power needs. But during the lean season, the power generation capacity of the reservoir goes substantially down.

The same is the case with the Myntdu Leshka Hydro Electric Project which operates on a run-off-the river principle. So during the lean season again, the water level at Myntdu goes down, hitting power generation.

Meghalaya has not been able to commission any new power projects so far, although many projects were given approval and are being built. Works to build the 140-MW Myntdu Leshka Stage II are on, besides the 22.5-MW Ganol and 3-MW Riangdo projects.