Shillong: Even as Meghalaya continues to reel under load shedding, Power Minister James Sangma expressed optimism that the state government would try to resolve the issues within 48 hours.

Meghalaya Government has been unable to clear dues worth Rs 1,345 crore to power companies from which the state draws power.

James Sangma today told reporters that the government used about 25 per cent of the total loan received under the Atmanirbhar scheme to clear the pending dues of the several power generating companies which keep regulating power supply to the state due to nonpayment of their dues.

James Sangma recently met Union Power Minister RK Singh in New Delhi to discuss the load shedding and power regulation by the NTPC.

During the meeting, Singh assured that he would work out something help Meghalaya. Sangma said that there is a shortage of around 25 per cent in power demand in the state. This has resulted in 6 hours of load-shedding in the state.

In 2017, Meghalaya signed a power purchase agreement with the NTPC under which Meghalaya had to pay fixed charges even without withdrawing power.

According to Sangma, the Bongaigaon Thermal power plant was commissioned in 2017. Because of delay and other reasons, the tariff for drawing power from the plant was too high, and it became unviable for the Meghalaya Government to withdraw power.

“ We have communicated to the Ministry of Power that it is not just Meghalaya which is adversely affected, but all states who are signatory to the PPA. We had taken the decision not to withdraw power since the rates are too high, but unfortunately, we are a signatory to the PPA, and we have to pay fixed charges which have accumulated,” Sangma said

Sangma also said that the Meghalaya government must fulfil certain conditions before receiving the second tranche under the Atmanirbhar scheme to clear the pending dues of Rs 1,345 crore.

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