Shillong: Meghalaya is reeling under a power crisis, with its only hydel plant at Umiam on the outskirts of Shillong producing less than 30 per cent of its capacity due to less rain.
"The 185-MW Umiam Project is producing only about 57-59 MW. The demand for power in the state is over 550 MW," Power Minister A T Mondol told reporters.
The seasonal rainfall in Meghalaya, according to Met office, has been around 25 per cent less so far this season.
Mondol said the state currently is buying over 150 MW from PowerGrid but that is insufficient to meet the demand. The state spent Rs 223.87 crore to buy power last year.
The expenditure incurred during the dry season is high, with the state spending Rs 25 crore for the purpose in January last year.
The provisional average rate at which the power is bought during the year 2009-10 is Rs 2.97 per unit, while it was being sold at Rs 3.71 per unit. The state has a hydro-power potential of about 3,000 MW.
Meghalaya cabinet had recently approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to be signed with the state-run North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) for executing two power projects in Meghalaya.
The MoA for a 500 MW thermal power project in Garo Hills and the 85-MW Mawphu Stage-II hydel project will be signed shortly and the minister hoped that the power scene
would improve once the projects come up.