Industrial units to shut down in Meghalaya due to power shortage

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Shillong, Apr 19 (UNI) Reeling under severe power shortage, industrialists in Meghalaya are planning to shut down their units at Export Promotion Industrial Part (EPIP).

Principal Secretary in-charge, Power, B K Dev Verma said a good number of industrial units set up in the state were planning to close down following shortage of power.

He said most of the industrial units are getting power supply only for six to eight hours a day.

Meghalaya, presently, could generate only 175 MW of power against its requirement of around 600 MW.

Mr Verma said Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) had even sought Rs 22 crore as subsidy from the state government to clear the outstanding dues for power purchase.

In 2007, the Principal Secretary said, the state government had to buy power worth Rs 170 crore from companies like North East Electric Power Corporation and Power Grid Corp of India Limited to meet the growing demand for electricity in the state.

Power Minister Conrad K Sangma had allocated an outlay of Rs 41.315 crore for augmenting power production in the state.

With the present power generation at 175 MW, the Minister said that it falls far short of current demand, which is over 600 MW and expects that during the 11th Plan 146 MW will be added to the capacity generation of MeSEB from three projects at Leshka, New Umtru and Ganol.

'' Meghalaya has hydro-power potential of around 3000 MW, and the thermal potential is even more. A master plan for improvement of the transmission system has been sent to central electricity authority which is preparing the plan for the entire region,'' Mr Sangma said.

In order to meet state requirements, Mr Verma said steps have been taken to augment power supply through capacity addition as well as connectivity to North Eastern Grid. '' Work is in progress for two major transmission lines -- Agia-Nangalbibra in Garo Hills and Misa-Byrnihat in Ri-Bhoi district -- to augment power generation for the State,'' he said.

The DoNER Ministry has already approved the Misa-Byrnihat project at a cost of Rs 120 crore. The Misa-Byrnihat transmission line will be directly connected to the North-East power grid.


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