Organisations threaten stir against Meghalaya government

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Shillong, Dec 22 (UNI) Smelling it to be a 'shady deal', several mass organisations have asked the Meghalaya government to scrap its decision of handing over six hydro-power projects to private companies.

Khasi Student's Union (KSU) and Federation of A'chik Freedom (FAF) have even threatened to take to street the issue if the government fails to scrap the deal with the six private companies within this month.

A fortnight ago, the state Cabinet has approved to strike a JV with--Jaypee Group, Dharampal Satyapal Group, ETA Star infrastructure Limited, Athena Project Private Limited, Seven Sisters Energy Limited and SEW Energy Limited-- under Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) system for 40 years.

The six power projects are Kynshi Stage-I, Kynshi Stage-II, Umngot, Leshka Stage-II, Umiew and Simsang Basin.

''We are shocked at the hasty and controversial decision of the state Cabinet on December 7 to handover power projects to private companies,'' KSU president Samuel Jyrwa said.

Terming the Congress-led government decision as ''total sellout of the state's interest'', the KSU leader said imposing such decisions without the people's consent would have serious consequences.

''The land in question does not belong to the government but to the people. The government needs the consent of the people,'' Mr Jyrwa said.

As per the power policy, any power project worth 100 MW or more should have gone through International Competitive Bidding route. In the case of the five projects, the procedure was violated by the Cabinet for the benefit of those in power, the KSU leader alleged.

The FAF has also served a 15-day deadline to the government to justify its decision to hand over the 720-MW Nangalbibra thermal power project to Dharampal Satyapal Group.

Another organisation, the Hynniewtrep People's Social Organisation has lashed out at the Cabinet's decision to handover the Kynshi hydro-electricity project to Athena for Stage-I and JP Group for Stage-II projects.

''We have decided to oppose the Cabinet's decision since we do not know the antecedents and past experience of the two companies in the power sector,'' the HPSO said.

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