WJC demands to entrust power projects to MeSEB

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Shillong, Jun 25 (UNI) Thw War Jaintia Conference (WJC) has demanded the Meghalaya government to entrust two proposed hydroelectric projects in Jaintia Hills district to the Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB).

A delegation of the conference apprised Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy of their demand for entrusting the projects to the MeSeb instead of handing them over to private companies.

The WJC demanded that the work of Leshka-Myntdu statge-II and Umngot projects be given to the MeSEB as the board had performed a commendable job in the case of Leshka-Myntdu stage-I project.

Opposing the state government's move, the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo Peoples (FKJGP) had called for a twelve hour bandh on June 27 to protest the Meghalaya government's delay to scrap the power deals inked with six private companies, which was later deferred.

The dawn-to-dusk bandh was postponed after state Power Minister Conrad K Sangma held successful talks with the Federation leaders on June 23.

''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 six companies 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 in various parts of the state.

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.

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