State planning Board in favour of MESEB for six new power projects

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Shillong, Jan 16 (UNI) Amidst widespread protests from all quaters, the State Planning Board has urged the Meghalaya State Electricity Board(MeSEB) to develop the six power projects, instead of roping in any private company.

The Planning Board has asked the state government to consider the matter, in view of future power development, in its January 18 Cabinet meeting, Mr Lyngdoh said in a statement here yesterday.

''MeSEB had indicated in its approach paper on the Eleventh Five Year Plan its interest to take up five hydro power projects including the ambitious 300 MW Umngot project which reached the stage of preparation of detailed project report,'' he said.

As MeSEB is goig to take a new role as corporation with its three wings - generation, transmission and distribution - it is well set to lend in the power development sector, he stated.

The MeSEB had displayed 'sound management skill and professional capacity' in implementing the Leshka power project.

''Hopefully, the Cabinet, which will be meeting on January 17 to review the power policy wuill consider all the facts in the right perspective' he said.

On the the MeSEB's financial ability to take up hydel power projects the planning Board stated that though huge investment was required for such projects, options of grant and credit resources from state plan, Japan Bank of International Cooperation and overflowing credit resources of schedule banks could be explored besides Asian Development Bank.

He claimed that power situation in the state was grim and dependent on weather.

Demand for electricity in the state had risen sharply to 610 MW from 185 MW due to industrial growth in Byrnihat.

Most of the political parties including NGOs are opposing the government's decision to hand over the six power projects to private companies.

UNI BS LL/src1353

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