CM inaugurates Sonapani hydel project
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2011, 20:03
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.


First Published: Thursday, December 15, 2011, 20:03

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