Cong questions Meghalaya govt creditability on power deal

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Shillong, Jul 16 (UNI) The Opposition Congress today questioned the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government's creditability to abrogate the power projects without taking the cabinet into confidence.

'' How can Chief Minister Donkupar Roy take the decision to scrap the power deal without approval of the cabinet?'' Leader of Opposition D D Lapang told reporters here.

However, the Chief Minister had decided to convene a cabinet meeting on July 22 to take a consensus decision to abrogate the power deal.

The alliance has decided to take a consensus decision to scrap the power deal following pressure from its coalition partners and two powerful NGOs-- the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People's and Khasi Student's Union-- demanding outright scrapping of the power deal, which the previous government inked with six private power developers.

The coalition partners of the United Democratic Party-led MPA government had accused the then Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government of a ''total sellout'' of the state's interest by handing over the power projects to private companies.

The MDA government had signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the 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.

Pointing out that the government should realise the power shortage in the state, Mr Lapang, the former Chief Minister, under whose tenure the deal was signed, said the government should not create a sense of insecurity amongst the investors by scarpping the deal.

''Instead of allowing investors to open up employment avenues for local talents we should not jab them with spokes,'' Mr Lapang said.

Asked that the deal was diluted without following the mandatory international competitive bidding for any power project above 100MW, Mr Lapang said, none of his cabinet ministers, including the incumbent Chief Minister, who was a deputy Chief Minister had raised the issue in the cabinet.

'' They cannot blame the Congress alone on this deal. They (UDP, Meghalaya Democratic Party and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement part of the then MDA and now MPA government) were also part of the cabinet and must also take responsibility,'' Mr Lapang said.

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