File Photograph: Police Bazaar in Shillong

Severe heat wave coupled with load shedding has made the lives of people miserable in Meghalaya.

The heat is intensifying every day, especially in the Garo Hills region in western part of Meghalaya, with some places recording over 36 degree Celsius.

Schools in several areas of the Garo Hills region have been closed due to the heat wave.

On the other hand, the power department on April 20 announced a longer duration of load shedding making it worse.

Currently load shedding in Khasi Hills is 7 hours daily. In Garo Hills, it is 10 hours and in Jaintia Hills region it is 8 hours.

“We are unable to purchase power as the rates are very high. We are looking at all possibilities and looking at exchanges to buy power at a better rate,” power minister Abu Taher Mondal said.

Stating that the state is staring at more power cuts in the days to come and the only solace would come from the monsoon, Mondal said that the state government have to take drastic steps since there are no ready-made solutions.

“We are looking for a long-term solution to solve this perennial problem of load shedding each year. Moreover, the completion of the power projects in the state is also taking time,” the power minister said.

Meghalaya has defaulted in paying its due to the power utilities like National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) and Power Finance Corporation and therefore these utilities have regulated supply of power.

The Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited has been reeling under debt for decades now. “Despite fund crunch the department is looking at different power utilities to provide power at flexible rate, but so far there has not been any positive response,” Mondal said.

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