With Tamil Nadu reeling under acute power shortage, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today squarely blamed the Congress-led UPA and her arch rival DMK for the crisis but said load-shedding would gradually ease from next month and the state will be free of power cuts from end 2013.
Apparently concerned at her government receiving all round flak over the power situation, Jayalalithaa in a televised address on her AIADMK-backed Jaya TV, said new power projects scheduled to come into effect from November would ensure the existing load-shedding to decrease.
Lambasting DMK, she said the previous M Karunanidhi-led government had failed to have a progressive vision on power generation and added only 206 MW to the installed capacity.
Power shortage has turned out to be the major issue faced by the 18-month old AIADMK regime, with power cuts reportedly running into about 16 hours in many parts of the state.
The load-shedding in Chennai was recently increased to two hours from one hour to ease the situation in the districts to some extent.
Jayalalithaa said DMK had been having representation in the Union Government for the past seven years and neither its members nor Congress Ministers hailing from the state had ever taken up the matter with the Centre, she charged.
Blaming the Centre, she said her repeated pleas to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for allocation of 1,000 mw of power ever since she took over as Chief Minister last year had not been considered.
The centre had also “ignored” southern states including Tamil Nadu as regards setting up Transmission corridor.
She said despite the state signing agreements for purchase of 1,100 MW of power from other states, only 85 MW could be received due to congestion in transmission corridor. “Do you now understand who is the cause for this?” she asked.
However, striking a note of optimism, she said with some of the power generation projects scheduled to go on steam, load-shedding would decrease from next month.
“By November there will be good progress.. Load-shedding will be gradually withdrawn. By end 2013, I assure, the power cuts will end,” she said.
This, she said, will be done with the the people’s support and by God’s grace, “despite that Centre has deserted us.”
Elaborating on her charge against DMK, Jayalalithaa said her governments during 1991-06 and 2001-06 had added over 3,800 mw and the state was power surplus when she demitted office after the 2006 Assembly polls.
“Many projects envisaged by my government were not continued by subsequent DMK Government willingly and this was their first betrayal of the people of the state,” she said.
Further, DMK government did not ink any long-term power purchase agreements with other states resulting in high procurement price over short-term.
It also left the TNEB in a bad shape, financially, due to mismanagement, leaving a debt of over Rs 40,000 crore, she said adding this was DMK’s “second betrayal”.
“The DMK charges us with leaving the state in dark. They could have addressed the issue any time but they didn’t have the smallest of care. The Congress (led UPA) and DMK are responsible,” for the power shortage in the state, she said.
The Centre was also yet to respond on her demand to allocate 1,721 mw of power to be proposed to be surrendered by Delhi government, she added.