IEP Chandigarh, November 24
Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that in 8 years BJP and BJP-JJP government did not set up any new power plant in the state. He said the government, which is making tall claims regarding the availability of electricity, should tell for what it wants to take credit for without starting a single unit. In the last 8 years, the present government did not increase power generation even by 1 MW in the state.
Hooda said the Congress made Haryana a power surplus state, but the BJP government is only trying to loot the credit for the work done by others. “The current government is responsible for reducing Haryana’s power productivity and availability, stalling power plants, and giving costly electricity shocks to the common people,” he said.
“Under the nose of the BJP-JJP government, there was sometimes a scam in changing electricity meters, sometimes in buying electricity meters. The government has not done any new work except by increasing the electricity rate, sometimes by buying expensive electricity from private companies, and sometimes by cutting the pockets of the general public in the name of fines and unnecessary bills,” he added.
He said that in 2005, when the Congress government was formed in the state, the power system was badly damaged and the power generation capacity of Haryana was only 1550 MW. “In 10 years, Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power at Khedar (Hisar) – 1200 MW, Indira Gandhi Super Thermal Power at Jhajjar – 1500 MW, Mahatma Gandhi Super Thermal Power at Jhajjar – 1320 MW, Deenbandhu Chhoturam Thermal Power Yamunanagar – 600 MW, Panipat Thermal Power Stage 6 – 250 MW power plant to were set up,” he said, counting the progress made in power generation.
“Apart from this, work was started by getting the first 2800 MW nuclear power plant approved in village Gorakhpur of Fatehabad under the Indo-US nuclear agreement. The power generation (availability) in Haryana had reached 12,740 MW during the Congress tenure itself. Today there is not even that much power availability as we had left in 2014,” he commented.
“Not only this, the work of approving another power plant of 660 units in Yamunanagar was also done during the Congress government, but for the last 8 years the BJP government kept this project hanging. By comprehensively improving the availability of electricity in the state, we made the state power surplus and we also became the state providing the cheapest electricity in the country. The Chief Minister himself accepted this fact by going to other states,” he said.
“Not only this, our government has never increased the rates of electricity in 10 years; on the contrary, it has reduced the rates of electricity for the farmers. When the Congress government was formed in 2005, the total budget of the state was ₹ 2200 crore. Out of that, the historic step of waiving electricity bill of Rs 1600 crore was done by the Congress government,” he stated.
“In Haryana, 5 new power plants were set up, wires of all old lines were changed, new transformers were installed. Whereas, by following the policy of buying expensive electricity from private companies, the BJP government has given inflationary shocks one after the other to the common people. It was the Congress government that started providing the cheapest 10 paise per unit electricity to the farmers in the country and during the Congress tenure, we had given tubewell connections to 2 lakh farmers. BJP and BJP JJP have not done any such work of public interest till date in their entire tenure,” he added.
Hooda said the government is unable to run the power plants built by the Congress government, let alone setting up any new power plant or increasing the power generation capacity in the state. As a result of reducing the generation capacity of government power plants and increasing dependence on private companies, he said the power availability growth rate in Haryana has come down from 10% to just 2%.
“This is the reason that the people of the state have to face frequent power cuts along with expensive electricity during the BJP government. People have not forgotten the disastrous and unbearable power cuts last summer. Last summer, the total power availability had reduced to just 6,000 MW. Taking advantage of the power crisis, the private company had also charged arbitrary rates from the government. Even the Adani Group broke the agreement with the government and sold electricity to Haryana at an expensive rate per unit and earned profit,” he said.