In the Matter of Flaming B. Marak v. State of Meghalaya, a public interest lawsuit case was filed in opposition to the State of Meghalaya’s arbitrary load-shedding and frequent power outages.
Analysis of Court Decision
Justice W. Diengdoh and Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee’s division bench of the Meghalaya High Court declared that the 50–60% shortfall in electricity supply was intolerable in the modern era, where both private and commercial life practically comes to an end without the availability of electricity.
The Court stated that when the PIL was filed, the State had adopted a position that enough electricity generation was not possible due to the insufficient pre-monsoon rainfall and low water level at Umiam Lake. The State had stated that much of the issue would be resolved once the monsoon arrived and the water level at Umiam rose, but the State had not provided figures for demand and supply, nor had it described the steps it had taken to increase the supply of electricity in the status report that it had submitted.
The Court ruled that having a deficit of more than 50% of daily demand was inappropriate and recommended that the State provide a detailed report outlining the overall picture for the state and district. The Court ordered the State to take into account acquiring more electricity from the national grid and other resources to make up for the shortage. The Court also recommended that the State take into account low-capacity hydroelectric projects or other types of power generation, particularly in states with high rainfall and steep terrain. To guarantee that the necessary actions are made to produce energy, buy it, or receive supplies from other sources, and preferably prevent a gap between supply and demand, a 10- or 20-year plan should be created. On July 25, 2023, there will be a hearing on the subject.
CASE NAME – Flaming B. Marak v. State of Meghalaya, Public Interest Litigation No. 3 of 2023