Northeast News – Govt scraps Umngot MoU – The Shillong Times

by Guwahati_City


SHILLONG, Aug 30: Faced with growing protests, the state government has scrapped the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with some private companies to execute the proposed 210 MW Umngot hydroelectric project.
Disclosing this on Monday, Power Minister James Sangma said the project was not on the government’s priority list.
He said the government is exploring renewable projects like solar, wind and biomass since the state is facing an acute shortage of power and it needs to augment its power generation capacity.
“We would like to supplement our hydro generation with solar and it is a symbiotic relationship. We want to bring about a robust and renewable energy foundation for our energy sector,” James said.
He said the government will seek the views of stakeholders if it takes any decision on the Umngot project in future. The government will address the genuine concerns of people when the time comes, he assured.
People wary of losing their tourism-based livelihoods had recently asked the state government to scrap the hydropower project on river Umngot or be ready to face a massive protest.
The river, which flows through West Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills, is a saving grace for the youth to eke out a living.
Earlier, a Joint Action Committee, formed to oppose the project, had met Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Deputy CM Prestone Tynsong and urged them to scrap the project.



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