TURA, July 18: The Achik Indigenous Justice Initiative Forum (AIJIF) has shot off a letter to the State Power Minister, James K Sangma over allegations of negligence by the MeECL. The allegation comes in the wake of some villages being without electricity for close to two months as well transformer repairs being paid for by the villagers themselves.
“The absence of a transformer at New Kathalbari village under Tikrikilla C&RD Block in West Garo Hills after the breakdown of the installed transformer on 06-06-2018 has resulted in villagers, Tikrilkilla College, Tikrikilla C&RD Block, Fire Brigade and other offices having to live in darkness for quite some time now even as several complaints have been made to the MeECL officials in this regard,” said Alex K Sangma, the AIJIF director.
“When they approached the MeECL Phulbari, they were asked to wait 2-3 days for the restoration of power. However the power never came back as they did not repair the transformer. This has led to tremendous hardships to students, teachers, Block officials and the village residents,” he added.
In another case in Kadamsali village under the same block, the malfunctioning transformer was repaired only after general public made a donation of Rs 45,000 to the repairman of the transformer.
“This clearly indicates the lack of concern by MeECL to the problems being faced by the commoners of Garo Hills. In a similar case in Kathalbari Village, under Tikrikilla C&RD Block, the local people collected an amount of Rs 250 per household in order to repair the malfunctioning transformer,” said AIJIF chief coordinator, Stubent G Marak.
“This has become a trend in entire Garo Hills in which the common masses have been persuaded and compelled by the lackadaisical approach of government department to step in and solve their issue on their own. The MeECL is not being held accountable for the misery being inflicted on the common masses. Even after the consistent and regular payment of all electricity bills the commoners have been perennially facing several inconveniences,” added Stubent.
The AIJIF requested the Power Minister to expeditiously look into the matter and summon the concerned authorities to redress the matter for the sake of the people affected by the MeECL’s negligence.