Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Meghalaya HC slams state govt for severe power shortage

The Meghalaya High Court slammed the state government for failing to address a more than 50 per cent shortfall in electricity supply as a result of insufficient rainfall.

Several parts of the state have been facing acute power cuts due to huge differences in need and supply.

Given that both household and commercial life may come to a standstill due to an electrical deficit, a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and W. Diengdoh in an order on Wednesday made it clear that such a scenario is unacceptable.

“It is completely unacceptable that the quantum of deficit would be in excess of 50 per cent. It is possible that because of low rainfall or other problems there is a shortfall for some period and a shortfall which may be not more than 10 per cent of the daily demand,” the bench observed as it heard an appeal expressing dissatisfaction over the power shortages.

“It seems that the shortfall here is more than 50 to 60 per cent of the demand and such a situation cannot be acceptable in this day and age where both business and domestic life almost come to a standstill without the availability of electricity.”

According to the state administration, the lack of water being gathered in the Umiam Dam as a result of the weak pre-monsoon rainfall was the cause of the electricity shortage.

The court subsequently ordered the state to provide a more thorough affidavit describing the bigger picture and corrective actions being taken, such as purchasing extra electricity from the national grid.

The bench also suggested that, given the state’s hilly terrain and copious rainfall, small-scale hydroelectric or other types of electricity generating projects could be established to alleviate the problem in the long run.

“Indeed, a 10-year or a 20-year plan has to be made out, taking into account the increased demand in future, to ensure that adequate steps are taken either to generate electricity or to purchase or obtain supply thereof from other sources to ensure that, ideally, there is no gap between the demand and the supply,” it added.

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