On Tuesday, Jayalalithaa had blamed Central PSUs for the State’s power crisis
E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, on Wednesday brushed aside Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s charge that wanton underperformance by Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) was behind the recent power crisis in Tamil Nadu.
Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry event, Mr. Natchiappan denied that there was anything deliberate behind the production shortfall and stated that the Centre considered the growth of every State crucial for national development.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, Ms. Jayalalithaa stated that the continued poor performance by Central PSUs, resulting in a shortfall in power supply, would only lead the people of Tamil Nadu to suspect a “concerted conspiracy” to plunge the State in darkness.
However, Mr. Natchiappan said that the Central government and its agencies were working in a coordinated manner to address the future needs of each State. “We will continue to offer all support to the Tamil Nadu government based on its requirements,” he said. According to the Minister, one of the reasons for the dip in power output was the fire accident on November 16 in the 600-MW North Chennai Thermal Power Station. “The accident took place because of a minor lapse and it would be rectified soon.”
On the power project handled by BHEL, the Minister said a full-fledged team was working to avoid issues in coal sourcing and would soon commence generation in a second unit.
On the GAIL LNG pipeline project started through an MoU with TIDCO, the Minister said a committee had been constituted to allay fears among a section of farmers that the project would adversely affect agriculture.
The Minister also pointed out that the Central government had been providing electricity as per the demand raised by the State government. When the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant attained power production of 1000 MW by December 15, a major share would be supplied to Tamil Nadu. The Centre was also working towards making electricity available from other States through national grid, he said.