Union Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Thursday said the Centre was ready to give 3,000 MW of electricity to Karnataka to deal with the current power crisis, but the absence of transmission lines had hindered the aid.
“We could give electricity immediately but there is no infrastructure for transmission to the State’s feeders from North Indian States,” he explained.
Addressing presspersons here, the former Chief Minister accused the State government of mishandling the power situation and wrongly blaming the Centre for its follies.
Mr. Gowda said the BJP government at the Centre had allotted six coal blocks to the State for improving its power situation despite demand from States like Maharashtra.
The total capacity of the blocks was 157 million tonnes and coal can be extracted for over 31 years. But, the State failed to take advantage of the resource and forced the crisis on the people, he charged.
Three units of Raichur Thermal Power Station had been shut since many months and only 150 MW was being generated from wind-power despite provision for generating 2,000 MW. When this is the case, the State is misleading the people by blaming the Centre for its own slip-up, Mr. Gowda alleged.
He, however, said the Union Power Ministry had taken up an ambitious project of linking the Northern States with Southern states for transmitting electricity and this will ensure sharing of surplus power.
The project had been announced by Power Minister Piyush Goyal and is expected to be completed in a few years.
Mr. Gowda said sugar factories in the State were generating about 430 MW and no effort had been made to tap this power for easing the crisis.
Rejecting the Congress government’s charge of the Centre’s step-motherly treatment to the State, Mr. Gowda said the Centre had increased its allocation to the State by almost two-folds.
“Chief Minister Mr. Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues are not keen to develop a cordial relationship with the Centre. Mr. Siddaramaiah should stop power politics and focus on giving power to the people,” he said.
Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, the former Minister S.A. Ramdas, leaders M.A. Mohan, L. Nagendra, Somashekar, Maruthi Rao Pawar, and Narayanswamy were present.
Mr. Gowda later held discussions with leaders on strengthening party activities in the region.