Meghalaya inks new MoU with ETA Star for power project

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Shillong, Nov 24 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ETA Star Infrastructure Limited which will accrue benefits to the state.

Meghalaya Power Minister Conrad K Sangma said the private power developer company has agreed to remove the arbitrary clauses to make it more beneficial to the state.

''The Company will reserve 80 per cent jobs to the locals for the Umduna power project,'' Mr Sangma said, claiming that ETA Star Infrastructure agreed to give its employees one fourth of the salary that the Meghalaya State Electricity Board staff are given.

As controversy had shrouded with the MoU inked with different power companies by the previous Congress led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition government, the present MPA government had under pressure from NGOs had either scrapped the deals with some power companies or decided to rewrite the MoU with others.

Asked whether the government is going to sign a new MoU with Athena Project Private Limited and Jaypee Groups, Mr Sangma said both the companies too had requested the Meghalaya government to reconsider its decision to scrap the deal.

'' We are not going to reconsider the decision but will stand by our earlier decision to scrap the deals,'' he stated.

Earlier, the Donkupar's cabinet had abrogated the Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) inked with the two private power companies- Jaypee Group and Athena Private Limited - to develop the Kynshi stage 11 and Kynshi stage 1 hydro power projects under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) system for 40 years.

He informed that the government will follow the international competitive bidding for these projects.

Stating that the state government had no issue with NEEPCO's 720 MW thermal power project at Nangalbibra, the Power Minister informed that NEEPCO had requested to the state government to relax some of the conditions like security deposit and change to the percentage of free power.

''NEEPCO, which is not a private sector, is valid in making such a request and the government will decide on its request soon,'' he said.

He, however, informed that there was a problem area with the request to reconsider location of the project.

The government will soon have a meeting to discuss about this issue and accordingly decide, Mr Sangma said.

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