Cong asks govt to electrify rural areas in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Mar 25 (UNI) The opposition Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance today expressed concern over the delay in electrification of many rural villages in the state.

''An immediate measure should be taken up by the state government to see that the rural areas are electrified in the state,'' Congress legislator Charles Pyngrope said while moving a cut motion in the Assembly on power crisis.

Mr Pyngrope also asked the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government to go ahead with the joint-venture, striked by the then Congress-led MDA to sort out the acute shortage of power in the state.

''There is nothing wrong in Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) tying up with the private companies to harness the power potential of 3000 MW in the state,'' he said.

Supporting the motion, another Congress legislator Dr R C Laloo said loadshedding has affected students the most. He urged the government to electrify the villages in Jaintia Hills.

Opposing the motion, lone woman legislator M Amapreen Lyngdoh of United Democratic Party, blamed the Congress for the present power cuts in the state. ''They had ruled Meghalaya for more 30 years and should have adopted ways and means to sort out the issue while in power,'' she told the House.

Ms Lyngdoh also criticised the previous Congress-led government, which entered into deal with unknown private companies to tap power in the state.

Admitting that the state is reeling under acute shortage of power, Power Minister Conrad K Sangma informed the House that the government is taking seven new projects in the 11th Plan to meet the electricity requirements.

Mr Sangma said only 60 per cent of the villages have been electrified so far and efforts were on to see that the remaining ones are electrified through the rural electrification programmes.

On the power deal with the private companies initiated by the previous government, Mr Sangma said a committee entrusted by the government will examine the merits and demerits of the deal and the report will be ready within a month.

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