SHILLONG, Sept 12: The Meghalaya Cabinet today approved the termination of two hydro power projects – Kynshi I Hydro Electric Project and Upper Khri Stage I and II projects.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed that these two projects were in collaboration with private parties, but due to financial non-viability and the rates of implementing these projects coming up too high and delay in implementation of the projects by the companies, the Cabinet made the decision to terminate these projects.
“The government will immediately move for new partnerships, or the same partners, with a new format to implement the projects,” the Chief Minister told reporters.
He said that the projects in the current form were not viable in terms of the rate, but the new technologies that have come in like pump storage and other facilities can be used and combination of water being released from one project to the downstream for another like in the case of Upper Khri Stage I and II, the projects need to be change and hence the department will immediately work in that aspect and hope that very soon it will be able to have expression of interest to be with these projects in its new form.
Sangma said that these projects were unviable in its current form and if implemented the government will have to buy power at Rs. 8 or Rs. 9 from these two plants which is not acceptable
“Hence we would want better technologies to be implemented and therefore we are going for another expression of interest for the same projects and maybe the same parties will apply again and as soon as possible we will go ahead,” the Chief Minister said.
According to him, a lot of time has been wasted (on the projects), and the companies have not been able to implement them and technology is outdated and rates are too high.
Asked why the government had signed these power projects in the first place when it had to terminate the contract with the companies, Sangma said that he does not want to blame anyone even as he added that the then government might have done the feasibility study and maybe had intention to move forward with them.
“I think things did not go as planned but now at the current point when we look back at these projects we are not finding the feasibility at this point,” Sangma pointed out.
He said that the government is ready to even work with Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), or any other private parties to implement these two projects.
“For us with is going to be in the best interest of the state and the best way to move forward so that we are able to stabilise power scenario in our state is what we are looking at,” the Chief Minister added.
He said that the decision (to terminate) was tough but somewhere one has to take a decision and the Cabinet felt that this is the best at this point in time.