The state cabinet today cancelled the 65 megawatt Rangmaw hydroelectric power project as it was “not economically feasible”.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters after the meeting that a previous government had “hurriedly signed” an agreement with Sew Energy Ltd in 2010 for the power plant.
Only last year Power Minister James Sangma included Rangmaw in a list of 15 power projects “under implementation” in the state. Even then, however, he said that the company had asked for revisions as it was not feasible as per the terms of the contract.
The Rangmaw project was allotted on a ‘Build Operate Own Transfer (BOOT)’ basis.
With the cancellation, the Power Department will float a fresh expression of interest for the project.
Meanwhile, the cabinet decided to approve the draft St Xavier’s University Bill 2020. The bill will be placed before the Assembly during the next session, which commences tomorrow.
The university will be run by the Jesuits, a Catholic religious order.
Tynsong said that the Jesuits run prestigious educational institutes all over the country and this proposal only received approval after going through the Meghalaya Private University Regulatory Board.
Private universities have mushroomed in the state over the years, but many function from rented accommodation or are not functioning at all. Because of these past experiences the government had decided to send the proposal to the regulatory board.
“We learn through mistakes because we have seen quite a number of so-called private universities do nothing. We will not allow these kinds of things to happen and I assure you St Xavier’s is one of the most popular and famous institutions throughout India,” Tynsong said.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved the introduction of e-stamps in Meghalaya to overcome shortcomings in the existing method of collecting stamp duty through non-judicial stamp paper.
The cabinet also approved the amendment of Meghalaya Farmers Commission Amendment Bill 2020 by incorporating a 65-year age limit for its Chairman.
There was also approval for the extension of the contractual appointment of the Secretary of the Meghalaya State Consumers Dispute Redressal Commission. Tynsong informed that the Secretary, HN Arengh, will continue in his post for one more year.