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State mum on DVC dues

Ranchi, July 15: Jharkhand seems to have put in cold storage Union state power minister (independent charge) Piyush Goyal’s request to regularly pay Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for power supply at a time when coal companies have threatened the cash-strapped PSU with no raw material delivery.

Power generator DVC, stuck in a vicious cycle where it doesn’t get paid by Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) and can’t pay vendors in turn, is staring at a major crisis that will impact regions of the state, Goyal wrote to chief minister Hemant Soren on July 9.

Goyal, who also heads the Union coal ministry, in his letter reminded Hemant that as on June 30, 2014, Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited owed Rs 7,425 crore to the DVC, including past reconciled dues to the tune of Rs 4,370.65 crore.

Principal dues of Rs 756 crore has also been accrued for power supply by the DVC during the period between April 2013 and June 2014.

“Till date no fund has been disbursed to the DVC even though the financial restructuring package (FRP), which include past reconciled dues, has been implemented in Jharkhand,” said Goyal.

As coal companies have threatened to stop supply to DVC due to payment defaults, “DVC’s (power) generation may drop automatically for want of fuel, which may lead to widespread load shedding/load restriction”, the minister said.

The minister added that DVC’s fiscal health had deteriorated to such an extent due to JUVNL defaulting on payments that it found it difficult to pay its employees their salaries. He noted that pending dues increased DVC’s interest burden as well, further hitting its financial position.

Seeking Hemant’s personal intervention, Goyal requested him to pay DVC monthly power supply bills and at least Rs 300 crore every month against arrears.

The state is to take any action so far. Hemant could not be contacted for comments since he is busy with his health check-up in Chennai.

State energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh refused to comment. “The matter is related to the Union power minister and state chief minister. How do I come in between them? I will air my views on the issue only when the chief minister asks me to do so,” he said.

Goyal, answering a query in Rajya Sabha yesterday, said of the 566 coal mines operational in India till March 31, 2014, 177 were in Jharkhand. Jharkhand had most coal reserves in India, he said as on April 1, 2014, the state had 80,716 million tonnes. The minister, who was answering a query by MP Parimal Nathwani on power crisis, made it clear that Jharkhand had abundant resources.


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