In the case of Flaming B. Marak Vs State of Meghalaya & Ors. The petitioner is upset about the frequent power outages in the State and the arbitrarily implemented load-shedding by the respondent authority.
Contention from parties
The respondents claimed that the State’s monthly demand for electricity reached 200 million units while its supply was just 88 million units. It was further claimed that the reason for the gap was the technical shutdown of a Tripura power plant, for which the State had no backup power supply.
Analysis of court decision
According to the Meghalaya High Court, electricity is no more an affluent luxury and the government must make sure that it is sufficiently supplied to citizens in accordance with demand and that measures are in place to fulfil the increased future demands. The Court highlighted that the State was free to make deals with power providers, some of whom are based in the northeast, or to purchase electricity from the open grid.
The Court stressed that the State was free to purchase electricity from the open grid and to enter into agreements with power firms, many of which had operations in the northeast. The State should make sure that the people have access to enough electricity, subject to the cost being covered by the residents. The court further stated that while it was dictating the order, the power supply in the court was interrupted. The electricity had recovered within a few seconds, but the court stated that it might be a sign that the State should provide a sufficient response.
The bench, therefore instructed the State and the Meghalaya Energy Corporation to submit separate affidavits outlining urgent, short-term, and long-term measures, demand predictions, a plan of action if any power plant were to accidentally shut down, as well as any other sources that might be available. On May 30, the case will be discussed next.