Federation calls off agitation, talks with government

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Shillong, Jul 30 (UNI) The Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People's (FKJGP) today kept its agitational programme in abeyance following the Meghalaya government's invition them for talks on power projects, which the Cabinet had partially scrapped.

Of the six power deals signed with private power developers, the Cabinet had recently abrogated the Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) inked with the two private power companies- Jaypee Group and Athena Private Limited - to develop power projects worth 1,100 MW.

It, however, decided to rewrite the MOAs with four private companies - ETA Star infrastructure Limited, NEEPCO, SEW Energy Limited and Seven Sisters Energy Limited developing power projects below 100 MW in the interest of the state.

''Since an invitation has come from the Chief Minister and power minister for holding talks, we will suspend the agitation and decide only after holding discussion with the government,'' FKJGP Chief Emlang Lyttan told a public rally, opposing the recent cabinet decision.

The federation, which had demanded outright scrapping of the six power projects, said they are not happy with the government's decisions since they felt that the MPA coalition government-which consists of the NCP, United Democratic Party (UDP), BJP, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) and Hills State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) - must fulfil its election promise and scrap all the six deals instead of only two.

The previous Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government had signed a MOA with the six private companies to develop the Kynshi Stage-I, Kynshi Stage-II, Umngot, Leshka Stage-II, Umiew and Simsang Basin 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 then 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.

The FKJGP also did not spare the MDA government during whose term the six power deals were signed. It said the Congress government was responsible for signing of the 'shady deal' but expressed its displeasure with the current MPA government's decision to scrap only two deals.

Meanwhile, the Khasi Student's Union (KSU) has welcomed the government's move but demanded reinstatement of the clause in State Power Policy which makes it mandatory to invite ICB International Competitive Bidding) for any power project of above 100 MW capacity.

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