SHILLONG, March 14: State government’s model for raising revenue for the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL) by taking a minimum of 30 per cent of pending dues to either restore power supply or replace damaged transformers is improving the company’s revenue collection. This was informed by Power Minister James K. Sangma during the Question Hour here on Thursday.
He also informed that MeECL owes NEEPCO an amount of over Rs 500 crore.
On Congress legislator from Umroi George B Lyngdoh quoting the Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSERC) Rules, which state that the damaged transformers should be replaced within seven days, and said such blanket procedure will unnecessarily affect households who regularly pay their electricity bills, Sangma said the only way to improve the revenue collection is to put in place such rules.
“This has had a lot of success in the revenue collection as many villages have come forward and cleared the 30 percent pending bills,” the Power Minister claimed while informing that the department is also exploring other ways to improve the revenue collection.
The Umroi MLA however countered the Minister by highlighting that sometimes bills are delivered for 2-3 months and this has only burdened households. He demanded the government to review the billing system and come up with consumer friendly system.
On this, Sangma said steps will be taken to introduce smart metering or pre-paid meters as one of the ways to resolve the problem.
Earlier, the power minister informed that a total of 395 new transformers have been procured by the power department to improve rural electrification in the state during last year, which also include procurement for replacing the damaged transformers.
However, Congress Nongpoh MLA Mayralborn Syiem wanted to know if the new transformers will also installed for villages where power has been disconnected due to non-payment of electricity bills.
On this, Sangma maintained that the practice being followed for installation of transformers will be after (pending) bills are paid to the tune of 30 percent.
“Replacement (of damaged transformers) will also be only after those dues have been cleared,” he said.
Meghalaya Govt confident of completing DDUGJY phase-I in time
With the deadline for Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) phase-I for village electrification & intensification approaching on March 31, the project is being implemented in full swing in Meghalaya.
Replying to a question posed by Congress legislator from Umroi George B Lyngdoh in the Assembly here on Thursday, Power Minister James K Sangma said the government expects to meet the deadlines.
He said the targeted date for completion of the DDUGJY phase-I for village electrification & intensification revised for covering all households in the village is on March 31, this year.
Under the DDUGJY phase-II, Sangma said the village intensification revised for covering all households will be completed by March 31, while system strengthening is on June 30.
He further informed that the system metering is in the final tendering stage and is set to be completed within 6 months from the date of award.