BJP to demand white paper on power sector

BJP to demand white paper on power sector

Speakers at the round table on the power sector find fault with the short-term measures

Hyderabad: State BJP vowed to continue its fight against the corruption and irregularities in the power sector in Telangana.

Speaking at a round table conference organised on power sector under the aegis of the party here on Friday, State BJP president Dr K Laxman said, "Our fight is not for any political interest but to protect the interests of Telangana, its resources, consumers and farmers of the State."

He questioned lack of any initiative from the State government in strengthening the vigilance wing and Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERC) in the State. Laxman said that the party will step up phase-wise agitation against the irregularities and corruption in the power sector.

"If the State government appoints a judicial inquiry then we will place all the evidence before it. Besides, we will demand publication of a white paper on the power sector in Telangana."

Though the power sector reforms initiated by the Centre has brought down the cost per unit of the power and made it available in the open access, the State government had opted for a one-to-one power purchase agreements at a higher cost, he alleged.

He said the negligence of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had pushed the Discoms in the State into losses. Further, though the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had come forward to the set up power plant the State government had preferred to set up a sub-critical thermal power plant at Manuguru.

He said Centre had given its approval for Manuguru plant on the condition that it should be commissioned by March 2017. Laxman said if the State government fails to institute a judicial probe or CBI inquiry, then the party will take the issue to the State Governor and also explore other options.

Former Chief Secretary of AP IYR Krishna Rao has stressed on maintaining the sanctity of institutions, particularly in key sectors like power. Lack of long-term sustainable planning to give a direction to the new state and taking short-term measures might lead to unwarranted consequences.

Another former Chief Secretary Dasari Srinivas highlighted the cost ratio of 'power vs. irrigation' sector in the State. "The per acre cost under Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project comes to Rs 50,000 and this gap cannot be filled. Besides, debt servicing is another issue need to be considered.

He suggested seeking a white paper from the State government on the power sector.

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