By The Editor
Electricity is considered to be the most needed energy for various purposes to such an extent that if there is failure even for few minutes then cost is very high. More developed nations consume more electrical energy and demand continues to rise in consonance with rate of development. Electricity is an energy form and not an energy source. Sources used to produce electricity include falling water, wind, sun, wood, coal, oil, natural gas, uranium, thorium and chemicals. Clearly generation of electric power depends much on the availability of energy sources. Most of the world’s electricity is in fact produced by thermal power stations using coal or oil. It is therefore highly essential that planners and administrators dwell in–depth on the power situation in the state and take necessary action so that consumers will not be at a loss if and when unavoidable load-shedding occurs which has become quite regular on most days.
Meghalaya totally depends on hydel projects for electricity and during dry season people are facing immense troubles due to frequent power cuts and that too for many hours in a single day. Even Power Minister A.T. Mondal himself on May 16 warned that if water in Umiam reservoir recedes any further then government will have no alternative but to shut down the power plant which will automatically lead to more hours of power cuts extending even up to 8-10 hours per day. Mondal however assured that the government is exploring options so that public will not suffer for long. But on long-term basis government has to start planning right now otherwise situation may become worse. With rise in population consumers too are increasing day by day which therefore needs immediate attention.
Meghalaya has adequate supply of coal and more than enough to meet demand of thermal projects. Government is well aware of the fact that people’s sufferings with regard to power supply are acute which has become quite chronic and how long will they tolerate is anybody’s guess. Factories, small manufacturing units, housewives, students, etc. are facing great difficulties besides economic losses. Over and above, governments have been encouraging to switch over to electric vehicles in order to safeguard environment while at the same time curtailing expenditure on oil imports. Amidst all these inconveniences the Meghalaya High Court taking cognisance of power situation has directed the state and Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) to file independent affidavits regarding rampant power cuts in the state. Another source of energy which is very useful and cost is also quite affordable is solar energy. Pending all these developments which may take some time it is therefore advisable for the government to explore the possibility of solar energy which will not take much time.