CM inaugurates Sonapani hydel project

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday formally inaugurated the Sonapani Mini Hydel Project.

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul
Sangma on Thursday formally inaugurated the Sonapani Mini Hydel
Project, thus turning the second phase of the once-defunct
project and add another 1500 KW of electricity to the grid.

Sonapani Mini Hydel Project was first commissioned in
1922 in Shillong city, the then summer capital of New Province
(Eastern Bengal and Assam) but had to be close down in April
1982 as the machines had outrun the utility.

The hydel project was proposed by J W Meares to cater
to street lighting, government houses, government offices and
private houses taking into consideration the fact that this
hill city has two rivers - Umkhrah and Umshyrpi.

At Thursday`s inauguration Sangma switched on the knob to
officially generate 940 MW of power from the project using the
river waters.

He lauded the Meghalaya Electrict Cooperation Ltd
(MeECL) for reviving the project, calling it NE`s first green
power project which is the pride of the people of the state.

About access to clean, quality and affordable power in
the state, Sangma said, "all our (power) requirement can be
met through renewable energy resources and by leaving aside
all those sources of power dependent on the fossil fuel which
contribute towards global warming."

He urged the people of the state not to have a
misconception on the move to privatise power generation.

"Today we are not in a position to draw all the power
which is available for Meghalaya... and in the process, we
actually land up in paying more for the power we are
consuming," Sangma said. He pointed out that each power project can generate a
lot of employment.

Stating that the Central government`s policy is similar
to the state`s power policy of 2007, Sangma said, "it
provides a lot of scope for the people residing the area a
sustainable income.

Terming the event as historic, Power Minister A T
Mondal reminded how Meghalaya used to export its excess power
to other power starved states in the north east.

He said, "with time, the demand for power has also
increased and more hydel projects are in the pipeline."

Chief Secretary W M S Pariat said, "We have alot
resources (water) and tapping these will meet the required
power shortages."

At present, MeECL generates 186.5 MW of power and
receives and equal amount of power from Central share.


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