Shillong, Mar 27: With Meghalaya under severe power shortage, the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government has initiated steps to encourage private sector to set up power plants in the state under IPP mode.
''The state government will pursue these initiatives with private sector participation in a transparent manner,'' Finance Minister Conrad K Sangma told the House during his maiden budget speech today. Mr Sangma, who also holds the Power portfolio, informed that an outlay of Rs 41.315 crore has been allocated for augmenting Power production in the state.
With the present power generation at 175 MW, he said it has been falling far short of current demand, which was over 600 MW and expected that during the 11th Plan, 146 MW would be added to the capacity generation of Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) from three projects at Leshka, New Umtru and Ganol.
Stating that Meghalaya has hydro-power potential of around 3000 MW, he said a master plan for improvement of the transmission system has been sent to central electricity authority which has been preparing the plan for the entire region.
Mr Sangma said the acute deficit was met by purchasing Power at exorbitant rates to avoid inconveniences to the public.
He also clarifed that the arrangement was not sustainable in the long run and that immediate steps need to be taken to augment the availability of Power supply through capacity addition as well as connectivity to North Eastern Grid.
In the transmission sector, the state has been at disadvantage as it was not connected to the North Eastern grid, the Finance Minister said, after due pursuance with the Centre, the Misa-Byrnihat Transmission Line has been approved at Rs 126 crore.
He said the scheme would be implemented by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and was expected to be completed in 30 months, which would enabled MeSEB to draw 250 MW of Power.
The Agia-Nangalbibra Transmission Line is under implementation at the Rs cost of Rs 43.32 crore sanctioned by North Eastern Council.
He said this project is expected to be commissioned in the 2009-10 and would add an additional 50 MW.
On growth and development of industries, Mr Sangma said inclusion of new sectors within the ambit of the new North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2007 was expected to boost industrialisation in the state.