load-shedding
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In a relief to power consumers of Meghalaya, the load-shedding will be enforced only for two hours in the state.

This was announced by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday evening.

The exact timing of the power cut will be decided by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) and there will be no load-shedding during the day hours.

Last week, the chief minister reviewed the power scenario in the state, especially the shortage of electricity that compelled the MeECL to resort to load-shedding for about four hours in different timings.

He said the decision to bring down the load-shedding to two hours came after finalising the discussion with different agencies.

Also read: Meghalaya CM discusses MeECL’s action plan to improve power scenario

Meghalaya used to get power through power banking whereby the state supplied some amount of energy during the rainy season to some states through the NTPC and the NTPC gives back to the state during the dry season.

However, due to the change in the central government policy on power banking, the state could not get power from the NTPC if the letter of credit is not opened.

Also read: Meghalaya: MeECL to float Rs 630 crore bond

On this, the chief minister said this issue has been resolved and the MeECL has already opened the letter of credit with a payment of Rs 13.8 crore to the NTPC.

He said under the power banking, the state is getting around 40 MW of electricity from the NTPC.

Earlier, the breakdown of two power projects – Palatana in Tripura and Kupli hydro-electric project along the Meghalaya-Assam border – forced the MeECL to resort to power shut down for many hours.

The chief minister said the MeECL has been paying Rs 65 lakh on a daily basis to NEEPCO in order to get power and clear the pending dues.

He also said steps have been taken to bring down the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses including the introduction of smart metre system to monitor the consumption and have proper information and data of the consumers.

There are 4.57 lakh consumers in the state including 1.03 lakh consumers in Shillong city alone.

As a beginning, 1.8 lakh smart metres would be installed by the MeECL.

The chief minister also urged consumers to use electricity efficiently while encouraging them to use solar energy.

Meghalaya requires over 600 MW of electricity but the generation is only around 300 MW with a deficiency of 300 MW.

He also talked about the number of pending power projects both hydro and thermal power projects as well as projects under renewable energy.

He informed that the MeECL is also yet to receive pending dues worth Rs 181 crore from consumers including industries.

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