Meghalaya High Court: Criticized Frequent Power Cuts, stated State Has Duty To Ensure Adequate Supply; Electricity Not A ‘Luxury’


The Maghalaya High Court in the case Flaming B. Marak Vs State of Meghalaya and ors observed and has recently criticised the State and its electricity regulatory body. Therefore, the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited, MeECL which being for the rampant power cuts in the State, as it being admittedly due to the imbalance in demand and supply.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh in the case observed wherein a Public Interest Litigation was filed with this regard that the electricity is no longer the luxury. Thus, it being the responsibility of the State in order to ensure that there is adequate availability of electricity as per demand and plans should be in place to meet the increased future demands.

The bench in the case observed and has ironically remarked that even while the order in the Public Interest Litigation was being dictated by it, the power supply to the Court had been interrupted. Therefore, the court in the case stated that the power has resumed within a few second, thus, but it may be a sign that the State ought in order to give an adequate answer.

However, it has also been informed by the MeECL Chairman to the court that the monthly demand of power is to the extent of 200 million units and also the availability is only 88 million units. Further, it has been submitted by him that such shortfall being because of a power plant in Tripura being shut down for technical reasons and that the findings of State that no alternative source for power.

In the present case, the said court is of the view that this cannot be an excuse to justify interruptions in power supply. It has also been suggested by the State in order to buy power from the open grid and enter into arrangements with power companies.

Further, seeking independent affidavits from both the State and MeECL, wherein it has been indicated for the immediate, short-term, and long-term measures in order to address the power crisis, which being along with a plan of action during the accidental shutdowns of any power plant and also the alternative sources that may be available. Further, the court in the case observed and has stressed the need for equitable distribution of load-shedding hours and the alternative arrangements for essential services such as hospitals, airports, and the key installations.
Accordingly, the court listed the matter to be posted again for further consideration on May 30, 2023.