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Home News Power Sector News Privatisation of power distribution has failed in Orissa - Jairam Ramesh

Privatisation of power distribution has failed in Orissa - Jairam Ramesh

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Jairam RameshPrivatisation of power distribution in Orissa has been a complete failure and it is shocking that private companies have been allowed to get away with such dismal performance, said Union minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh. He expressed his concern over the high transmission and distribution loss and said it was at an unacceptably high of 49 per cent in Orissa as against a national average of 34 per cent.He said: "The propaganda of some kind of conspiracy by the Centre to keep Orissa poor is bogus and absurd." Without mincing any words, Mr Ramesh said that he had already conveyed his views to the chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik and will follow it up with by writing a letter on the situation in the power sector in Orissa.

Replying to questions on the state government’s allegations that it was not getting Central assistance in the power sector and was deprived of Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme funds because it had privatised the distribution sector, the minister said: "The conspiracy theory is bogus." "Why should the government of India fund private companies, wouldn’t it be like a bail out package to Satyam," he quipped. He, however, followed this up by saying that since the Central cabinet had decided to fund states under the APDRP, Orissa and Delhi are losing out because of the private companies. "Now that the CM has represented to the PM, we will try and find a way out to fund both Delhi and Orissa," he said.

"The progress of the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidutikaran Yojana in Orissa is the slowest amongst all states. I am not blaming any single entity, it is a collective failure of the central sector PSUs, the private distribution companies and others involved in it," he said.

"It is shocking to find that everybody is keen on passing the buck, the central PSU like NHPC has engaged a Kolkata based firm which in turn given contracts to as many as 30 contractors for RGGVY work in two districts of Orissa," he added.

"The Centre has spent Rs 36,000 crore on the programme for rural electrification and in Orissa 18,000 villages and 32 lakh BPL families are to be covered in the project. But only 900 villages have been connected so far and of them only 200 have been energised," he said referring to his review meeting in Berhampur.

"The Power Grid Corporation, the NTPC and NHPC are the ones entrusted with the work and they are responsible but then they point out at ground level problems while at the ground level the private distribution companies also shift the buck," he remarked. Mr Ramesh said that he has decided to monitor the implementations of the projects personally on a weekly basis.He strongly favoured Orissa getting a legitimate share in terms of power "generated from NTPC power plants established in the state. Since the air, water and coal of the state is used, the demand for a quota is justified," he said.

Source - Statesman


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