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Heated debate on power crisis

Heated debate on power crisis
Highlights

TDP demands white paper Opposition, Cong blame each other TDP slams Botcha for remark on Naidu TRS accuses TDP of double standard ...

  • TDP demands white paper
  • Opposition, Cong blame each other
  • TDP slams Botcha for remark on Naidu
  • TRS accuses TDP of double standard
Hyderabad: The discussion on power crisis in the Assembly on Monday nearly got converted into who were the real inheritors of the legacy of YS Rajasekhara Reddy.A The TDP demanded a white paper alleging that lack of proper planning, incompetency, corruption and deliberate weakening of APGE- NCO by the government had contributed to the total collapse of the power sector and had put heavy burden on consumers in the form of power tariff hike and FSA ( Fuel Surcharge Adjustment). TDP senior leader Payyavula Keshav, who initiated the debate, demanded a white paper on the power sector. The ruling Congress and the YSR Congress vied with each other to claim the legacy of Rajasekhar Reddy and the House witnessed stormy verbal duels on several occasions. While TDP castigated both the parties stating that the two Congress parties were sailing in the same boat, TRS and YSRCP alleged that there was nexus between the Congress and the TDP.A Senior ministers Botcha Satyanarayana, K Partha- sarathy, Kondru Murali, DK Aruna and S Sailajanath rebutted the opposition's attack and strongly defended the policies of the Kiran-led government. Keshav, during his attack on the government, tried to corner the government by reading out a statement reportedly made by Botcha Satyanarayana during a press conference that a massive scam in coal import had taken place and it was also one of the reasons for cost escalation. A He demanded immediate reply from the Chief Minister and Botcha as well. Waving a newspaper report, he asked the government to reveal as to who were the beneficiaries and why some companies like Lanco and GMR were accorded extra favours. Botcha, who was not in the House at that time, rushed in later and made a scathing attack on the TDP saying that it had lost power in 2004 for its inept handling of power supply. He recalled the incident of Basheerbagh firing on agitators who were protesting against power tariff hike. "You are misleading the people. You were in power for nine years and did nothing for the farmers and now you are questioning our sincerity. Your leader once said that agriculture was a waste," he said. At this stage TDP MLAs trooped into the well protesting against the ministers' remarks. Dhulipala Narendra challenged Botcha to prove the reported remarks of Chandrababu on agriculture. Another Minister K Parthasarathy, retorted saying it was very much there in the biography of Chandrababu titled 'Manasulo Maata'. Pocaharam Srinivasa Reddy of TRS accused TDP of double standard. He said on one hand it charges the government with failure but when it got a chance to pull it down it went back. TDP leader Yerrabelli Dayakara Rao came down heavily on TRS saying that "directly or indirectly, the TRS had been helping the Congress for a long time. It is an open secret what happened in Nizamabad", he said. Congress and YSR Congress also had a spat when Srikanth Reddy accused the government of failing to implement YSR's assurance of nine hours of uninterrupted power supply, chief whip Gandra Venkataramana Reddy countered it saying that it was the late leader who conceded that it was practically not possible to give nine hours of power to agriculture at this juncture. Other ministers Aruna and Sailajanath also came to the defence of the government. Keshav alleged that the lopsided policies adopted by the Congress government in the last nine years pushed all four DISCOMs into financial crisis. The DISCOMs, he said, had incurred a loss of Rs 30, 692 crore and to cover up those losses, it had put Rs 30,000 crore burden on the consumers through FSA and hike in power tariff four times in nine years . The worst affected by the power crisis were farmers, weavers, hospitals and industries which bore the brunt of power crisis. He demanded that the government stop collecting FSA and supply seven hours of uninterrupted quality power to agriculture. The TDP leader also found fault with Kiran Kumar Reddy for not taking action on the 12-page report on power crisis which was prepared by a top official last year. He questioned the government as to why the government did not respond to the CAG report which found fault with the import of coal at excessive prices. The House witnessed strong protests from the ruling party members when Keshav remarked that the government should distribute ' Sonia Gandhi candles and Rahul Gandhi hand fans' as there was no power supply in villages. Rural areas were facing severe power cuts to the extent of 18 hours. He charged the government with colluding with private power companies. He demanded the government to annul all agreements with the private companies and enter into fresh MoUs making it mandatory that the power generated from those projects be supplied to the state at reasonable cost. Rajasekhara Reddy was the brain behind changing the TDP government's strong power policy to benefit the private contractors who were given away lakhs of acres of land at throw away prices.
CAG report not Bible: Kiran
The report had blamed govt for import of coal for power generation resulting in cost escalation
cm2Hyderabad: Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday said that the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) could not be treated as " Bible, Quran or Bhagavad Gita." Intervening during a short duration discussion on the power crisis in the Assembly on Monday, Kiran said, "Unless the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee on Public Enterprises analysed the CAG observations, we cannot take them seriously." The intervention was necessitated as TDP senior leader P Keshav said that the CAG pulled up the government for spending excessively to buy coal used for power generation. He quoted the CAG report as saying that the government imported two varieties of coal at the cost of Rs 4795 per tonne and Rs 3900 respectively. The Singareni Collieries was selling the same quality of coal at Rs 4400 and Rs 3700 respectively. The CAG report found that Rs 325 crore more was spent on coal procurement last year. Keshav took strong objection to the remarks of the chief minister on CAG and said that he was undermining the importance of a constitutional body. Kiran Reddy said that he was not undermining the importance of the CAG. It prepares the report based on the information furnished by government officials. Sometimes, without consulting the government. The government later sends its clarifications and other necessary details to the CAG. He also pointed out when he was a member of the Committee on Public Undertaking Sectors , the CAG made an observation that the then TDP government incurred a loss of Rs 13,000 crore to state exchequer in taking up the Srisailam reversible tunnel project. When the issue came before the Committee, it dropped the CAG observation because the delay in the execution of the works caused escalation of cost and not by misuse or diversion of allocated funds. Stating that the CAG observations cannot be correct always, Reddy said the procedure followed in the accountancy was also entirely different. A final conclusion on CAG report whether it is correct or not will be known only after the government analyses the report.
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