BJP, Samajwadi Party play blame game over UP power crisis

As Uttar Pradesh reels under a power crisis, a war of letters has broken out between the BJP-led union government and the state`s ruling Samajwadi Party.

IANS| Last Updated: May 31, 2014, 16:03 PM IST

Lucknow: As Uttar Pradesh reels under a power crisis, a war of letters has broken out between the BJP-led union government and the state`s ruling Samajwadi Party.

Sources said several letters were exchanged in the past few days between Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

In a letter sent to the power minister Friday, Yadav alleged that the power share of the state was slashed by 1,000 MW after the Lok Sabha election and that despite the purchase of more than 1,000 MW electricity under the energy exchange ambit, the state was finding it difficult to tide over the crisis.

The letter goes on to say how the total transfer capacity (TTC) of the Uttar Pradesh grid has been brought down from 6,100-6,200 MW to 5,700 MW.

In such a scenario, Yadav said, any attempt to purchase by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Private limited (UPPCL) from other states would be treated as a violation of the TTC.

He cited the example of one such attempt made in case of the western corridor which had a surplus 1,000 MW availability but the state could not get it.

Yadav urged the union minister to consider his request on a priority basis, keeping in mind the acute shortage of power and the scorching heat.

He also raised the issue of coal allocation to the state`s Anpara A, B and C power units to a private enterprise.

He said lack of coal supply has forced one unit of Anpara C to shut down while power production in the others collapsed to 70 percent of their normal output.

This has led to a cut of 400 MW power production in the state.

Power officials say whatever coal is coming the state`s way is more of a problem than a solution.

The Parischa thermal power plant, which has a capacity of 1,000 MW, requires five racks of crushed coal every day to keep its unit going. However, coal supplying companies were sending the unit boulder-sized coal, from which only three racks can be achieved.

Close aides of the chief minister told IANS that the government sees a "political design" in the power cuts and wanted to "put the record straight" through the letters.

Faced with a relentless protest by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, the Samajwadi Party has asked party leaders to apprise the people of the facts.

"The situation is of their own making as the chief minister presides over a thoroughly incompetent government," said BJP`s state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

He said the Samajwadi Party was targeting the people for voting for the BJP.
"If you go through the power procured before and after the Lok Sabha polls, it is clear that Akhilesh Yadav has lost interest in governance after the party`s humiliating defeat," Pathak said.

The Samajwadi Party`s tally came down from 22 to five while that of the BJP went up to 71 from 10 in 2009.

Piyush Goyal responded to the charges levelled by the state government, saying Coal India was supplying more than 90 percent coal to Anpara C.

Responding to charges that the state government was not being allowed to purchase extra power, power ministry officials told IANS from New Delhi that the state was not buying power from the Anta, Auraiyya and Dadri-based gas power plants.

"In case the state wants to do so, they can immediately buy 300 MW power," Goel said.

The ministry has also advised the state government to buy power from other northern states who have surplus power.

It said Uttar Pradesh can also buy 377 MW power from the Jhajjhar power plant.

Between May 3 and 15, the state had purchased 277 MW electricity from this power plant, officials told IANS. So what was stopping the state government from doing so again, a senior official asked.