Akhilesh admits power situation grim

Blaming the previous Mayawati government, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav admitted in the state Assembly on Tuesday that the power situation in the state is grim.

Replying to a question of BJP leader Hukum Singh, the chief minister, who also holds the Energy portfolio, said, "We are not able to clear the dues of NTPC and other institutions. We are purchasing power at a higher rate and supplying it at a lower price. The gap is rising and there is a deficit of Rs 29,000 crore from the previous government. In Lucknow alone, the monthly deficit is Rs 150 crore. We are afraid that if judicious decisions are not taken, we may not be able to pay to buy power."

The chief minister said that the state government had already given sanction for central government's proposal for financial reorganisation of the power distribution companies on January 29. In the coming five years, the cost of power supply and per unit realisation would be brought at par.

Akhilesh said that transformers purchased during the previous government were faulty. "The copper content and oil were not up to the specifications. In Gorakhpur alone, nearly 1,200 transformers got burnt in one month. Those who did all this are sitting in front of me", he stated, referring to the BSP members on Opposition benches.

On the suggestion of Hukum Singh, Akhilesh agreed that third party verification would be undertaken for the material supplied in the Power Department, including transformers. "Already a similar practice is in place at Agra for keeping a tab on power distribution," he said.

However, Akhilesh denied Singh's allegation that "cuts and commissions" were rampant at Shakti Bhawan, the headquarters of the UP Power Corporation Limited. "I have not met any person who had to pay a commission. If they meet you, please send them here", he said.

He assured that big defaulters of the Power Department would be identified and steps taken for recovering the dues.

Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya asked for a supplementary about power generation in May 2007 when the BSP assumed power and March 15, 2012 when the SP assumed power. However, the question was disallowed by Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey.

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