FKJGP defers 12-hour agitation on power projects

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Shillong, Jun 23 (UNI) The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo Peoples (FKJGP) today deferred its proposed 12-hour bandh on June 27 over the Meghalaya government's delay to scrap the power deals inked with six private companies.

The dawn-to-dusk bandh was postponed after state Power Minister Conrad K Sangma held successful talks with the Federation leaders.

''We have decided to postpone our agitation to July 4 after the Power Minister informed that the Official Committee is yet to submit its report on the power deals inked by the then government,'' FKJGP president Emlang Lyttan told reporters here.

Mr Sangma said the Official Committee, headed by state Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee, is expected to submit its report in a day or two on the merits and demerits of the Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) after public protest against the handing over of power projects to private companies.

Soon after taking over the helm of affairs from the Congress, the United Democratic Party-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government served non-operational notices to six private Power developers, asking them not to develop the power projects signed with the previous government in the state, until further notices.

The Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government had signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Jaypee Group, Dharampal Satyapal Group, ETA Star infrastructure Limited, Athena Project Private Limited, Seven Sisters Energy Limited and SEW Energy Limited under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) system for 40 years.

The six companies would develop the Kynshi Stage-I, Kynshi Stage-II, Umngot, Leshka Stage-II, Umiew and Simsang Basin.

Various NGOs, including four Cabinet ministers in the previous government, had accused the Congress-led government of a ''total sellout'' of the state's interest by handing over the power projects to private companies.

In fact, the United Democratic Party and Nationalist Congress Party had assured to scrap the deal if voted to power.

The MPA government, however, later said ''the people have to decide whether to continue with the ongoing bad power scenario or go for joint ventures with companies for enhancing power generation in the state.'' Mr Sangma said the Official Committee's report would be circulated to all the Cabinet ministers and that the Cabinet would take a final decision on the issue after studying the report.

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