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Dal ridicules power pledge

New Delhi, Dec. 11: Bihar is unhappy with the Centre’s proposed power generation units under the Twelfth Five-Year Plan in the state.

Even as the Centre is planning four power generation projects with a total installed capacity of 4,960MW in Bihar in coming years, JD(U)’s Rajya Sabha member N.K. Singh today said the UPA government had “no credible plan” to raise the per capita power consumption in the state.

He added that the per capita power consumption in Bihar was lowest in the country.

Responding to a starred question raised by Singh, minister of state for power Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Rajya Sabha that 54 projects worth Rs 7,625.26 crore has been sanctioned for Bihar under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojna. He added that the projects would cover 23,845 villages, which do not have electricity, and provide 56,58,692 households, belonging to the below poverty line category, with free electricity connections.

“Besides, Rs 216.61 crore has been sanctioned for 71 towns in Bihar under Part A of the central scheme of restructured accelerated power development and reforms programme. Under Part B of the scheme, Rs 1,155.21 crore have been sanctioned for 64 towns,” Scindia said. “In addition, Rs 2,728.98 crore has been sanctioned under the special plan for strengthening of the sub-transmission system,” the minister added.

Singh, however, doubted whether any of these plans would help the state “in a big way”. Of the total installed capacity (1,833.93MW) in the state in the public and private sectors, little is available to the state,” he said.

“The Centre has been ignoring the state’s power demands. Former power minister Sushil Shinde had said even if Bihar did not have any coal resources, it would get an ultra power station through the central sector. However, the promise was forgotten very conveniently. We have been pushing for coal linkage to the Kanti thermal factory. Chief minister NItish Kumar met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to direct Jharkhand to provide tapering linkage to the thermal plant at the earliest,” the JD(U) MP told The Telegraph.


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