Power-starved Meghalaya on Thursday Wednesday added 40 MW power by formally commissioning the New Umtru Hydro Electric Project in Ri- Bhoi District bordering Assam.
The commissioning of the 2×20 MW power project at Dehal is expected to ease the power deficit in the state.
Meghalaya, which was once a power-surplus state, has now become power-deficit. Against the peak hour demand of 650 MW, the state generates only 186.7 MW, which is exclusively hydel-based power.
Commissioning the project, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the state has added substantially to its power generation capacity and encouraged the Meghalaya Power Generation Corporation Ltd to further look at potential areas where small hydroelectric projects can be developed so as to improve the state’s overall energy scenario, particularly in remote areas.
He called for an integrated approach in optimum utilisation for the optimum benefit of the people, suggesting that the concept of water harvesting, water conservation can be integrated appropriately with power projects for optimum benefit.
Sangma also informed that the state government is committed in bringing down the losses of Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd and encouraged in bringing people ples’ participation for timely realization of the tariff across the state.
Till a decade ago, Meghalaya generated surplus power and sold it to neighbouring states. But today, the state shells out about Rs 20 crore for purchasing power every month.
The situation may not improve in the near future as many of the hydel power projects under construction are running behind schedule.