Faced with an acute power shortage, the Tamil Nadu government said it would resort to litigation to solve the crisis. The State Cabinet on Saturday decided to approach the Supreme Court for directions to the Union government to make available adequate power.
A resolution adopted at a Cabinet meeting said at present availability of power in the State was 8,000 MW, against a demand of 12,000 MW, resulting in acute power shortage.
The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) had entered into agreements with other States for purchasing 1,100 MW. Despite this, the Power Grid Corporation of India did not put in place the required transmission infrastructure, following which the State did not get the required quantity of power.
In these circumstances, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the 1,721 MW of electricity to be surrendered by the Delhi government from November 1 to March 31 next year should be given to Tamil Nadu. On October 24, Union Minister of State for Energy K.C.Venugopal said the State’s demand would be examined. But the next day, he stated that due to congestion in the corridor, it would not be possible to meet the State’s demand, according to an official press release here.
The government invoked Article 301 of the Constitution, which says trade, commerce and intercourse throughout the country will be free, in support of its decision.
It noted that under Article 131, the Supreme Court, to the exclusion of any other court, had the original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Government of India and a State if and so far as the dispute involved any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depended.
The Centre and the Power Grid Corporation of India had the duty and responsibility to allocate and supply power as per TANGEDCO’s agreements and the power made available by the Delhi Government, to make good the shortage.
With a view to asserting the State’s right, it had been resolved to move the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre, the release said.