Gujarat alleges `discrimination` in gas allocation

Alleging that Centre was `discriminating` against Gujarat in allocating gas, state government said it resulted in loss of Rs 340 crore in past 2 years and closing of gas-based Dhuvaran power station.

Gandhinagar: Alleging that the Centre was `discriminating` against Gujarat in allocating gas, the state government on Monday said it has resulted in a loss of Rs 340 crore in the past two years and closing of the gas-based Dhuvaran power station.
Minister of State for Energy and Petrochemicals Saurabh Patel said in the assembly that the "central government has discriminated against Gujarat by allocating it only 3.55 MMSCMD (Million Metric Standard Cubic Meters) gas per day in 2011-12 against total requirement of 5.83 MMSCMD per day for all gas-based power generation units in the state."

"Similarly, in 2012-13, we needed 7.49 MMSCMD per day but we were allocated, till December 2012, only 31.24 per cent of it," he said in reply to a question by BJP MLA Dilip Patel.

"Because of this injustice and discrimination, Gujarat has to purchase gas at a much higher price from other sources, which has made it difficult for the government to sustain certain power plants," the minister said.

"The state exchequer incurred a loss to the tune of Rs 340 crore in the past two years because of non-allocation of required gas by central government and the state has decided to shut down power generation at Dhuvaran power plant," he stated.

Patel further said a committee formed by the central government decided on priorities for gas allocation.

"Agriculture and fertiliser sector is on the top of the priority list and the power sector is at the third place for gas allocation. But the central government has been allocating gas to Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra treating it as a top priority sector and not as in power sector," he pointed out.

"This clearly is a case of discrimination and Gujarat has to pay higher price for gas (for buying from other sources) which increases energy generation cost," Patel said.