Sunday, Apr 07, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
At a press conference on Saturday, the APCC official spokesman, K. Rosaiah, the vice-president, Gade Venkat Reddy, and other leaders took exception to the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu's observation at a TDP meet that "the Congressmen will sell away poles and transformers if entrusted with the management of the power sector.'' The media cell chairman, K. Lakshma Reddy, and the PCC secretary, R. Padma Raju, were also present.
The Congress leaders pointed out that the State was surplus in power when the TDP came to power for the first time in 1983. Mr. Rosaiah dished out elaborate statistical data in support of his argument that the performance of the power sector was better under Congress dispensation than under TDP rule. He challenged the Chief Minister to an "open debate'' or an invitation to the Opposition to a videoconference so that contentious issues relating to the sector could be debated face to face. He ridiculed the Government's claim about 24-hour power supply by pointing to long unscheduled power cuts in the rural areas.
Mr. Rosaiah said the installed capacity as on March 31, 1983 (when the TDP took over from the Congress), was 2,736 MW of which hydro was 1,488 MW and Thermal 1,248 MW.
The installed capacity during the first stint of TDP rule from 1983 to 1989 increased to 4,182 MW including Central Sector share, an addition of only 934 MW.
During the Congress rule between 1989 and 1994, the installed generation increased to 6,110 MW, an addition of 1,918 MW. The financial allocations for the power sector under plan and non-plan during 1983-90 was Rs. 1,953.9 crores, the annual average working out to Rs. 279.1crores as against an allocation of Rs. 5,122 crores for the five years, 1990-95, the annual average being Rs. 1,028.94 crores.
The Congress spokesman said the percentage of budgetary allocation for the power sector ranged from the lowest 18.1 per cent to 21.77 per cent during the TDP regime while it was a minimum 28.9 per and a maximum 31.81 per cent under the Congress rule.
Mr. Rosaiah said in the last seven years of the TDP rule the electricity utility continued to incur losses notwithstanding the claims of the Government about system improvement and reduction in losses. Against this backdrop, the Chief Minister's statement that the Congress ruined the power sector was "irresponsible,'' he charged.
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