NIIGATA (Kyodo) East Japan Railway Co. said Wednesday it has cut the pay of President Satoshi Seino by 50 percent for three months after discovering its hydroelectric plant in Niigata Prefecture used more water than allowed for over five years.

The plant, which mainly provides power for trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area, was shut Tuesday because the infrastructure ministry revoked its right to use water.

JR East cannot restart the plant until the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry gives permission.

The Shinanogawa power plant broke the river law by tampering with a water intake measuring program, allowing it to divert roughly 310 million cu. meters from the Shinano River between 2002 and 2008, the ministry said.

It is unclear what the plant’s water quota was or to what degree it was exceeded.

The plant provides 22.9 percent of the power used by JR East and is mainly used to run the Yamanote, Chuo and other lines.

Seino said in February that the carrier would take various measures, including cranking its heat power plant to full capacity, to avoid disrupting train services.

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