Meghalaya's ministers protest Cabinet decision on power projects

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Shillong, Dec 25 (UNI) Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang is facing an open revolt from his cabinet colleagues for taking hasty decision to handover projects to major power companies in the state.

Seven cabinet ministers have signed a letter of protest addressed to Mr Lapang, expressing their concern over the Cabinet decision to hand over the power projects to private parties.

The protest came to the fore after several organisations, including the Opposition, Nationalist Congress Party, had alleged the deal to be a ''shady'' one.

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.

''I don't know the reason why the cabinet meeting on December 7 was held in a hurry despite suggesting the Cabinet on December 3 to go slow on the matter,'' Higher and Technical Education Minister Robert G Lyngdoh, one of the signatories of the letter. The ministers, who opposed the deal, said the decision to handover the project to private companies violated the state's Power Policy.

''We are shocked at the hasty and controversial decision of the Chief Minister,'' KSU president Samuel Jyrwa said.

Earlier, several mass organisations have asked the Meghalaya government to scrap its decision of handing over six hydro-power projects to private companies.

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

UNI

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