The sudden restriction in the electricity supply to Meghalaya by the NTPC (formerly the National Thermal Power Corporation) took no less a figure than Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma completely unawares.
He was surprised, he said today, because Meghalaya does not directly buy power from NTPC but from other generation companies. This restriction has caused a fresh bout of daily load-shedding in the State.
“We have been clearing the debts to NTPC and NEEPCO also. Recently, Rs 100 crores was released to NTPC. The process of clearing their dues is on,” Sangma added.
According to the chief minister, there are certain agreements that were there with NTPC in relation to the Bongaigaon power plant in 2007 and based on that agreement most of the North East states need to compulsorily take power from them and, in case they do not, such states have to pay a minimum fixed charge to NTPC.
He said that this agreement has put a lot of burden on the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL).
“Letters have been sent to the Centre and to NTPC to revise this agreement. It is not very fair on the State government. The rates have changed and they are charging a lot as compared to what we get in the market today,” the Chief Minister said.
Sangma said that he had pleaded with the Power Ministry that since the state is not drawing power from NTPC it is unfair for the company to regulate supply being given to Meghalaya by another company.
The NTPC has suddenly regulated the power supply to Meghalaya on March 1, which compelled the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) to impose load-shedding for six hours from March 2 till the issue related to the Letter of Credit is solved. The Letter of Credit is amounting to around Rs 18 crore.