SHILLONG, Jan 29 – Contrary to the claim of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) that the abduction of two Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) engineers was due to poor power connectivity in the interior areas of Garo Hills, the MeECL claimed that it was doing enough to improve power supply in the region.
In a statement issued here today, MeECL Director (Distribution), CD Saio said, “The Government is serious on improving power supply in the Garo Hills region of the State and fulfilling the aspirations of the people.”
Earlier, the rebel group had set a week’s deadline for the Government to give a “convincing reply” on the poor power scenario in the Garo Hills. On January 24, the GNLA had abducted three MeECL engineers – Apus Pohthmi, Bonnieface Majaw and Marshall Swer. Swer was, however, released unharmed by the rebels.
According to the MeECL officials, the Government has launched various development schemes for improving power supply in the Garo Hills. The officials also said that the schemes include improving the power supply in the Garo Hills through construction of 132 KV lines and substations, installation of a generation project at Ganol, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) project for rural electrification and provision of power supply to BPL households, distribution projects, etc.
Giving details of the sanctioned RGGVY projects in the Garo Hills, the MeECL official said 471 non-electrified villages were selected as beneficiaries while 339 electrified villages were identified for improvement of power supply.
According to the MeECL officials in the East Garo Hills, 15,059 BPL households were beneficiaries of the RGGVY. While in West Garo Hills, 643 non-electrified villages were chosen while improvement was identified for 821 electrified villages. Around 37,726 BPL households were made beneficiaries of the RGGVY scheme.
In South Garo Hills, 367 non-electrified villages have been identified while 6,259 BPL households were identified as beneficiaries. Saio also said that other electrification projects which the Government has launched in the Garo Hills include the 132-KV Nangalbibra-Agia Line and 132-KV Rongkhon-Ampati Line and augmentation of Rongkhon S/S from 35 MVA to 50 MVA. The new Ampati (2 x 25MVA) substation and Mendipathar (2 x 20 MVA) substation are under construction.
“The tendering process of the first ever generation project in Garo Hills at Ganol Stage I (3 x 7.5 MW) is in an advanced stage,” he said. The MeECL officials said an estimated cost of Rs 42.98 crore for construction of 33 KV, 11 KV and LT lines and 33/11 KV substations and distribution substations was taken up under the Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (10th Plan).