Students irked over load shedding during exam time

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Shillong, Mar 6 (UNI) Resentment prevailed among students here over the timing of severe power cuts ahead of Board and University examinations in Meghalaya.

This was the second time that the Meghalaya State Electricity Board(MeSEB) had to resort to load-shedding especially at a time when the examinations are round the corner.

The MeSEB decided to effect load-shedding after the water level at Umiam dam reservoir had reached its dangerous level due to scanty rainfall coupled with large consumption of power by the industries at Export Promotion Industrial Park in Byrnihat.

''It is a big shame that the government has failed to provide electricity ahead of examinations,'' said a local student Ivan Sohtun, who accused the government of preferring industrial units to the students.

United Democratic Party, an ally of the incumbent Congress-led government also lashed out at the government for its defective power policies. ''The government should have framed an effective and practical power policy to ensure surplus power to meet the needs of the people and the industry,'' UDP Spokesman BM Lanong said.

Mr Lanong said Meghalaya should have extracted the power dues worth more than Rs 100 crore from the Assam government.

''The state government could have used the money to purchase power from outside to tide over the crisis in the state,'' he said.

The Khasi Student's Union has also urged the government to relax the hours of load-shedding in view of students preparing for their upcoming exams in the State.

MeSEB officials, who had to face people's criticism here, said the Board was equally concerned with the ongoing power-cuts and said they were hard-pressed to take this drastic step due to shortage of monsoon rain last year.

However, MeSEB officials said the only solution lay in continuous rain for ten or twelve days to fill up the Umiam dam reservoir, the power life of the state.

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