Sangma inaugurates new power substation; fulfills long-awaited dream of people of North Garo region

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Resubelpara, December 26: Fulfilling the long-awaited dream of the people of the North Garo region and taking into consideration the acute shortage of power supply and frequent power cuts, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr. Mukul Sangma inaugurated the 132/33, 2x20 MVA Substation at Mendipathar in North Garo Hills (NGH) on Tuesday.

The commissioning of this project came as a Christmas gift for the people of the district, who have been experiencing acute shortage of power supply and frequent power cuts, fulfilling the long-awaited dream of the people of the region.The project was funded by North Eastern Council (NEC) with a total cost of Rs. 14.5 crore and is one of the most important sub-stations in the State. It is the third substation in Garo Hills after Nongalbibra and Rongkhon substations.

Dedicating the substation to the people of the region after inaugurating and switching on the transformer breaker and 33 KV feeder breakers, the Chief Minister said he was privileged to share the joy of the people in getting their long-cherished dreams fulfilled and also congratulated the team of MeECL for working hard to get this project commissioned on time adding that it could not have come at a better time than Christmas, news agency The Meghalaya Times reported.

He also said that the project is a comprehensive effort of all concerned and an offshoot of the design of the Government to address the issues of backwardness and poverty and respond to the needs of the people as per the demands of time. “Any investment in the power sector requires huge investment and we have taken measures to actually invest in this important, crucial sector of development which is the foundation for prospective growth and prosperity of our people”, he said.

He recalled the time when the proposed railway line to Depa had to be given up due to certain fears and doubts of the people, how the people of NGH were asked to think of an alternative line to bring such an important infrastructure to the region which resulted in Mendipathar having the only railhead in Garo Hills.

He also said that the Industrial Growth Centre in the region which was conceptualized a long time ago could now become a reality as the prerequisites for industrialization - Railways and Power – are now available. He also spelt out a number of initiatives and programmes rolled out by the Government, for all of which power is a prerequisite.

The Chief Minister also informed that this year, out of RIDF fund Rs.112 crore has been earmarked for Ganol hydro project ‘because we want to complete it on time’. Stating that if the completion of project is delayed due to lack of fund flows, a lot of money will be lost in interests, Dr. Sangma said, “This is bad economics”. As such, he urged for projects to be completed fast so that returns can be reaped.

Regarding the long talked about Transmission Line from Agia to Nongalbibra, he said Rs. 43 crore was invested for the project, because without it the Mendipathar substation would not have been possible.

Recalling the frequent power failures in Garo Hills because of the fault somewhere in the transmission line from Mawlai to Nongalbibra he said that this transmission line was so aged that it could no longer respond to the demands of time. He also said that it could not be renovated because there was no alternative line. “But today because of the investment that we have made gives us the luxury of having options and we will only improve the overall power scenario”, he added.

He also said that with uninterrupted fund flow, Ganol project is expected to be completed by 2017, adding that this will be fastest power project in the country as far as hydro power project is concerned.

“After investing so much of money, Ganol project has to be sustainable and to make it sustainable we have to involve a lot of people in the dialogue process to preserve all the vegetative coverage”, he said while adding that in order to have a sustained power supply sustained sources of water need to be ensured even as he highlighted on the Government’s programme of sustainable livelihood through sustainable ecology.

Mendipathar Legislator and Parliamentary Secretary Marthon J. Sangma who also spoke on the occasion thanked the Chief Minister for his interventions for speeding up the process of completing the substation on time and making the long awaited dream of the people of this region a reality.

Earlier, the Chief Secretary and CMD, MeECL, PBO Warjri said that the substation, because of its nature, can provide its service to other districts beyond NGH and informed that it would be connected to Phulbari and Ampati substations to ensure that there is a transmission ring, so that even when there is a fault in other lines there would be no stoppage of power supply. He also informed that the substation would be linked with the State Load Dispatch Centre in Shillong which monitors all the sub-stations in the State online.

The Deputy Commissioner (DC), NGH district, SC Sadhu, Director, Transmission, E. Slong and Chief Engineer Transmission, E.W. Nongrum were among others who also spoke on the occasion, while the Superintending Engineer, Byrnihat T&T Circle, R Syiem gave a brief highlight about the project and the benefits thereof.

Others who were present during the inauguration of the substation include Parliamentary Secretaries, Brigady Marak, Cherak W. Momin and Marthone J Sangma, officials of MeECL, district officials and the general public of the area on Tuesday.

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