Meghalaya asks power developers not to execute projects

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Shillong, Apr 9 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has served notices to six private power developers asking them not to develop the projects, signed with the previous regime, until further notice.

The notices were issued to six companies - JP Group, Athena Project Private Limited, Seven Sisters Energy Limited, ETA Star Infrastructure Limited, SEW Energy Limited and Dharampal Satyapal Group - in the wake of stiff opposition from various quarters.

''We have written to the companies not to execute the projects, as the government is consulting a legal group to examine the merits and demerits of handing over the power projects to the private companies,'' Power Minister Conrad K Sangma said.

Mr Sangma said the state government had entrusted the matter to the legal group to prevent any legal hurdles if the deal is scrapped as the companies had already paid a total of Rs 8 crore to the state government after signing the Memorandum of Agreement(MoA) with the six companies.

The previous Congress led government had kept in abeyance the MoA and constituted an official committee to examine ''in depth merits and demerits'' of the MoAs after public protest against the handing over of power projects to private companies.

Various NGOs and four cabinet ministers of the previous regime had accused the Congress-led dispensation of a ''total sellout'' of the state's interest by handing over the projects to private firms.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma, who also holds the power portfolio, had said the six power companies would execute the projects under joint venture with power sector companies under Build-Operate-Transfer system for 40 years.

He said after this period, the projects would be handed over to the state electricity board.

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