Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday clarified in the Assembly that there will not be any tariff hike for 'the sections of society for whom the Communist Party of India (Marxist) claimed to be working'.
He was reacting to a query from CPI (M) floor leader K. Balabharathy on the tariff hike issue during the debate on the demands for grants to the Energy Department.
The CPI (M) leader pointed out that the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board had submitted a petition to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission for the tariff hike in respect of domestic consumers consuming over 200 units [bimonthly], small industrial units and other establishments.
She also recalled the Chief Minister's statement on Thursday that there would not be any tariff hike and urged him to give up the move to increase the tariff.
Mr. Karunanidhi said that the free power supply scheme for farmers and handloom weavers would continue.
Surplus on cards
Replying to the debate, Law Minister Durai Murugan asserted that the State would be surplus in power during 2011-2013 as a number of generation projects, now under execution, would be commissioned.
Responding to the criticism of former Electricity Minister R. Viswanathan (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) that the present government had neglected generation projects, the Minister said apart from pursuing the projects initiated by the previous AIADMK regime, the DMK government had taken the initiative to execute several projects such as Mettur Thermal Power Station – Stage III (one unit of 600 megawatt); a joint venture project with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in Udangudi (two units of 600 MW each); and a thermal power project in Kattupalli (1,600 MW).
Referring to the AIADMK's contention that there was no power cut when it was in power during 2001-2006, Mr. Durai Murugan argued that the DMK regime, during 1996-2001, had closely followed up the implementation of many projects initiated by the AIADMK in its previous spell (1991-1996). As a result, capacity addition of 1,197.57 MW was achieved. This was why there was no power cut during the subsequent AIADMK regime.
When Peter Alphonse (Congress) asked the Minister to spell out the State government's plan of action to implement projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, he replied that the State would implement solar energy project as soon as the Centre announced its guidelines.