Shillong, Dec 3: On allegations being levelled by the opposition Congress against the prestigious Ganol Hydel Power Project, Power Minister James K. Sangma today nailed the Congress by giving out facts.
He said that the Congress failed to operationalize the project and is unnecessarily trying to create propaganda on the cost escalation of the project.
“The Ganol Project was initiated during the previous government. The previous government, after several delays, cited that the project would be completed by February 2018. They failed in keeping their promise. However, the NPP government decided to complete the project for the interest of Garo Hills and its people”, the power minister said.
He said that when the NPP-led government took stock of the project, it had two choices to make. It could have cancelled and wasted hundreds of crores of public money, which were spent in an unplanned manner by the Congress. Or the government could have infused the project with the required funds to make it viable and benefit the state’s citizens.
“The government chose to complete the project. However, the opposition has failed to see the big picture and is criticising the government as they failed to do what NPP has done. There has been an increase in the height of the dam due to soil stability for the project and has warranted a higher fund allocation”, he said.
He further said that under the NPP-led government, the Ganol project stands to be the first hydropower project in Garo Hills which is proceeding steadily towards success. “The people of Meghalaya stand to benefit immensely from the completion of this project”, he added.
Notably, the geological study of the project site, conducted while Congress was in power, indicated deficiencies in the Survey and Inspection (S & I).
“Their contractor encountered fractured rocks and loose boulders and therefore struck numerous roadblocks because of this. In other words, even they encountered geological issues. The 2017 CAG report flags this prominently. The report also cited the fact that the DPR fleshed out in 2007, when Congress was in power, was faulty. The project was approved as early as 2008. Despite taking almost a decade, the previous government was not able to make the project come to its fruition”, the power minister further informed.