The Meghalaya High Court today asked the State government to ensure that the entire shortfall of electricity demand is removed within a reasonable time.
The division bench made the observations while hearing the PIL filed by Flaming B. Marak on the power situation in the State.
During the hearing, a status report was filed by the State government which informed that the shortfall in demand has now been reduced to 13 per cent across the State.
“Such shortfall is quite significant and the State would do well to ensure that the entirety of the shortfall is removed within a reasonable time. At the same time, both the petitioner and the citizens should understand that these measures have a gestation gap and take some time and cannot be addressed overnight. There are revenue and expense issues, infrastructure project issues and, at the end of the day, they are matters of policy,” the High Court said.
The court also advised the State government to look into the prospect of setting up small water-based power plants in view of the hilly terrain, the heavy rains and the availability of flowing water for most parts of the year.
“Smaller power projects would also ensure that large deforestation need not be resorted to. In places, the terrain is tailor-made for small hydel projects. At other places, existing hydel projects may be augmented,” the court said.
Further, the High Court asked the State government to prepare a blueprint on the steps necessary to be taken with empirical studies on the expected demand for five years or 15 years down the line and the infrastructure development to be undertaken by the State to meet such increased demand over a period of time.
“There is no band-aid solution which may be resorted to in this case,” the court said while listing the matter for hearing on September 8.