First Meaningful Step Taken To Address Power Woes

IMPHAL, Jan 6: A public discussion session on ‘˜Crisis of electricity in Manipur : Is there a way out?’ held here today has demanded the Government of Manipur to come out with a white paper on how the electric power is being supplied, utilized and managed in Manipur.

Organized under the aegis of Forum for Indigenous Perspectives and Actions, the discussion session held at Imphal Hotel was moderated by Dr A Bimol Akoijam of JNU, New Delhi.

Prof Amar Yumnam of Manipur University; Additional Chief Engineer-I of Electricity Department, Government of Manipur RK Kishore, editor of Imphal Free Press Pradip Phanjoubam, Meihoubam Rakesh of Human Rights and Legal Network and president of Consumers’ Club, Manipur P Arunkumar were among the speakers who participated in the discussion session.

At the end of the discussion session, three main resolutions have been adopted. The first resolution demanded the Government of Manipur to produce a white paper on from where the electricity is being supplied, and how it is utilized and managed. The second resolution called upon all the civil societies, groups and individuals in different walk of life for taking up necessary and appropriate measures towards ensuring adequate and regular power supply in Manipur and the media to play a pivotal role in encouraging public debate on the issue of power supply in Manipur.

The third resolution stated that the Forum would be convening a meeting to discuss further course of actions to be taken up in this regard.

Participating in the discussion session, Prof Amar Yumnam pointed out that there has been no mechanism or any system to regulate supply of power and collection of taxes from consumers in Manipur. So, the public have not been able to get adequate and regular power supply. There is no reason for putting the blame on the consumers alone.

The Electricity Department should understand what ‘supply and demand’ is in the present context, he added.

Meihoubam Rakesh said that since there is an Act like Electricity Act, 2003 in effect in the country, consumers can approach the law court for redressal if they are not getting power supply.

Pradip Phanjoubam observed that the move to introduce prepaid energy meter is a good thing and such a system would encourage the people not to waste electricity and conserve energy.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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