Gujarat Cong, Modi govt engage in "power" packed duel
Gandhinagar: Opposition Congress on Tuesday attacked Gujarat government for adopting "double standards" on its power policy and "misleading" the people of the state.
"The state government has not achieved any increase in power generation on its own. Most of the power that Gujarat gets is because of the Central government and private power producers.
"Chief Minister, who is boasting about Gujarat being a power surplus state, is in fact adopting double standards and misleading the people," Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela told reporters here.
However, the BJP government refuted the claims made by Vaghela and termed his charges as "baseless" and "absurd".
"Since 2002 this Government has been promising to raise power production by 1,000 MW per year. If that promise has been fulfilled, production of Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) would have increased to 10,000 MW by this year. But it has increased the capacity by merely 200 MW," Vaghela said.
The former Chief Minister alleged that during the rule of Narendra Modi government, 19 out of 26 state-owned electricity generation units have been shut down.
"On one hand, government is reducing power generation capacity of GEB and on the other, it is facilitating the private players to fetch handsome profits."
From 2002 to 2012 power production of the private units increased 26 per cent, while output from GEB units rose merely 0.9 per cent. Similarly, generation capacity of state-owned units increased by merely 0.62 per cent, Vaghela said.
"Clearly, the BJP government has adopted a policy of double standards in power sector. If Gujarat is a power surplus state, then why more than 10 lakh farmers are still deprived of electric connections?" the Congress leader asked.
He also slammed the government on its solar power policy. "Gujarat is the only state which is purchasing solar energy at Rs 15 per unit and selling it for Rs 6 per unit."
"All these are baseless and absurd allegations. The reality is Gujarat has achieved 149 per cent increase in power generation since 2001," Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said.
"In 2001, our installed power generation capacity was 8,657 MW, which increased 149 per cent in the past 12 years to reach 21,567 MW now," he said in a statement.
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