Power cuts in state sparking anger
SHILLONG, March 2: The sudden outage in the state – the third in the past four months – angered coalition partners of the National People’s Party, opposition Congress and civil society groups .
“This is unthinkable because the government last time argued that contributions were being paid and that there would be no more load shedding,” said Jemino Mawthoh, secretary general of the United Democratic Party (UDP) , reacting to the power cut.
Stating that much activity is now done online after COVID, he said the state would suffer losses and students would be among the hardest hit by the outage.
“We weren’t expecting this after the government said it was using a loan to pay premiums. The Energy Minister should think about it, ”Mawthoh said, adding that UDP Chairman Metbah Lyngdoh would raise the issue with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh said he was surprised that MeECL had resorted to load shedding again.
“Personally, I see no reason for MeECL to re-impose load shedding. I tried talking to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma to find out about the power outage, but he (Conrad) was busy, ”Lyngdoh told reporters here.
He recalled that he had spoken with the chief minister when the MeECL imposed power cuts on February 14.
“I was assured that there would be no more load shedding. But to my surprise, the load shedding has been imposed again since yesterday, ”added the president.
Declaring it was a crucial time for students preparing for board exams, Lyngdoh demanded that the load shedding be lifted immediately.
Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh said the frequent periods of power cuts had angered the population.
“The government was so proud to have made Rs 1,345.72 crore available to the Center under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. But the load shedding returned 13 days after the assurance that it was taken care of, ”she said.
Lyngdoh criticized the government for claiming prematurely that it had done what previous governments had failed to do. “The MDA exhibited its superficial understanding of complex issues, throwing MeECL on the brink of collapse,” she added.
She said the Rs 930 crore loan taken from the Asian Development Bank in 2020 to improve MeECL did not reflect its performance.
Lyngdoh asserted that contributions of Rs 1,460 crore “can in no way” plunge a state into total darkness and that the condition for receiving huge loans will have an impact on the public treasury in the long run.
“The unbundling of the company cannot be delayed any further and only capable technocrats can get the electricity supplier back on track,” she said.
The president of the Civil Society Women’s Organization, Agnes Kharshiing, wondered how the government could carry out a load-shedding without informing the population in advance.
“This is Meghalaya where some people abuse power and forget about people,” she said.