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Home News Power Sector News Centre creates road blocks for new power projects - AK Balan

Centre creates road blocks for new power projects - AK Balan

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AK balanKerala Electricity Minister A K Balan said that the State can find the electricity it required, provided the Centre does not come up with hindrances. Balan was responding to a statement made by Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi that Kerala, as well as other states, should find the electricity they required. He also urged Shinde to ‘advise and brainwash’ his colleague and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on the issue of the 163 MW Athirappally Hydro Electric Project.

“We can find the electricity we require with the Centre’s help. But he (Shinde) should advise and brainwash Jairam Ramesh instead of advising us. There is no problem with our initiative (to generate electricity),” the Minister told reporters.

The KSEB’s efforts to kick-start the controversial hydel project, proposed in the Chaliyar basin of the Chalakkudy River, has found its latest stumbling block in Jairam Ramesh.

The Minister reiterated that the Government did not propose a tariff hike in the power sector, but criticised, albeit with gloves on, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission for not giving due consideration to the KSEB proposals for power restrictions and surcharge. He also pooh-poohed the Opposition’s demand for a white paper on the financial position of the KSEB. The Regulatory Commission should take the KSEB’s pleas a bit more seriously, the Minister said, urging the Commission not to put undue stressed on the power utility which is operating round the clock.

“The industrial consumers had agreed for 20 percent restrictions. So should it have been reduced to ten percent? The Commission should also review its decision on off-peak incentives to industrial consumers,” he said.

He said that the Regulatory Commission itself had concluded power-cut and loadshedding as the solution to the present power crisis. But both solutions were unacceptable to the LDF Government. The Commission should have accepted the KSEB proposal for 46 paise as surcharge to recover the Rs 311.52 crore incurred on additional power purchase. Instead, it had whittled it down to Rs 190 crore.

Scoffing at the UDF demand for a white paper on the KSEB, the Minister pointed out that during 2002-2003, when the UDF was in power, tariff was hiked twice.

“The situation was not so serious then as it is now,” he said.

Besides, the KSEB’s finances are given in the annual Aggregate Revenue Recovery and Expected Revenue from Charges it files before the Regulatory Commission.

“The Commission scrutinises it, and after that the Comptroller and Auditor General,” he said.

Source- New Indian Express

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