NEEPCO on Monday claimed that the stoppage of power supply to Meghalaya from 00:00 hours of December 19 was done in accordance with directions of the Ministry of Power.
A press communiqué was issued on Monday by NEEPCO headquarters in response to the statement by Arunkumar Kembhavi, CMD of MeECL to the media.
Kembhavi had claimed that any disruption in uninterrupted supply of power shall result in public grievance and may be seen as a coercive step by NEEPCO to cause prejudice to the celebrations for the consumers of Meghalaya.
The NEEPCO statement said the stoppage of power supply to Meghalaya from was done in accordance with directions of the Ministry of Power (dated 28th June, 2019) on maintenance of adequate payment security by the power distribution licensees for purchase of power from central PSUs.
As per the directions from the Ministry, distribution licensees are required to maintain Letters of Credit (LCs) or make advance payments to cover the cost of power purchase from central PSUs as a Payment Security Mechanism, the statement claimed.
“These directions also mandate the Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDCs) to discontinue supply of power to the distribution licensees that fail to maintain adequate payment security,” NEEPCO claimed.
Since August 1, last year, MeECL has been purchasing power from NEEPCO on advance payments in lieu of maintaining Letter of Credits.
NEEPCO claimed that despite MeECL not making regular advance payments since December 8, the PSU continued to supply power to Meghalaya taking into consideration the hardships people would face amid winter.
The power-generating PSU said it continued to supply power even without the advance payments as people were slowly getting into the festive mood.
“NEEPCO continued to supply power while making repeated requests to the MeECL to abide by the directives of the Government of India and re-establish the payment security,” the statement said.
As MeECL failed to respond to the repeated requests to make the advance payments, NEEPCO had no other option but to inform the North Eastern Regional Load Dispatch Centre (NERLDC) about the absence of payment security.
“…..accordingly supply of power to Meghalaya from NEEPCO’s power stations was discontinued with effect from 00:00 hours of December 19,” the statement said.
NEEPCO clarified that the stoppage of power supply had no connection with the outstanding dues of Meghalaya.
In fact, Meghalaya government is yet to clear an outstanding payment of Rs 690 crore to NEEPCO.
“It is amply clear that the reasons for disruption of power supply by NEEPCO to Meghalaya are solely attributable to MeECL,” the statement said, adding that NEEPCO cannot be accused of adopting coercive measures while only abiding by prevailing guidelines.