NCP asks Meghalaya to scarp power deal

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Shillong, Jul 11 (UNI) The Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) today advised the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government to scarp the controversial power deal with private companies.

The NCP's(a partner in the United Democratic Party-led government) suggestion came after two powerful NGOs--the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People's and Khasi Student's Union demanded outright scrapping of the power deal, which the previous government inked with six private power developers.

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.

''We wanted the government to scarp the controversial power deal based on the commitment made by the party to the people of Meghalaya during the election,'' NCP state president Dr WR Kharlukhi told UNI here.

State Power Minister Conrad K Sangma said that any decision on the MoUs signed between the government and private power developers would be taken keeping foremost the best interest of the state.

''The manner in which the deals were signed in haste had created doubts in the people's mind,'' Mr Sangma said.

In fact, soon after taking over from the Congress, the United Democratic Party-led MPA government served non-operational notices to six private power developers, asking them not to develop the projects signed with the previous government until further notices.

The MPA government had constituted an official committee to study the details of the MoUs. The committee submitted its report to Chief Minister Donkupar Roy last week.

Mr Sangma said any decision on the deals would be taken collectively and with consensus. ''The interest of the state and the people would be foremost in coming to a decision on the deals signed,'' he added.

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.

UNI RRK PL RL DS1653

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