Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal said on Sunday that he had gone out of his way to help Karnataka overcome its power shortage.
The minister said three neighbouring states rejected his appeal to help the State overcome its power shortage.
In an exclusive interaction with Deccan Herald, Goyal said, “During the recent power crisis in Karnataka, I went out of the way to solve the crisis. It is not my duty to call up chief ministers of different states, telling them to shift a portion of their electricity to the neighbouring state.”
Goyal said despite being from a different party, he called up chief ministers of Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, requesting them to transfer at least 100 MW of power to Karnataka.
“But all of them rejected the request, politely though, stating different reasons,” he said. In an indirect reference to the Congress-led Kerala government, he said despite being from the same party, the Oommen Chandy government did not help Karnataka, also ruled by the Congress. “Since all the neighbouring states rejected my appeal, I used my executive powers to increase Karnataka’s share from the Central grid,” the Union minister noted.
On the Union Budget, Goyal said the power ministry did not need any budgetary support.
“We are a very innovation-driven industry. We don’t need any kind of support from the finance ministry or from the Budget. In fact, we are ready to provide support to their endeavours. The finance ministry is already under stress from expenditure on various sectors, and we don’t want to add on to it,” the minister said.
On the memorandums of understanding signed at the Elecrama meet in the city, Goyal said, “I am proud to say that we have witnessed the signing of seven MoUs between the Union Ministry and the state governments of Maharashtra, Punjab, Sikkim, Odisha, Karnataka and Kerala for providing power 24X7 for all. This takes the number of such MoUs signed to 18.”
On budgetary expectations, Pradeep Kumar Pujari, secretary, Union Department of Power, said, “The allocation for UDAY scheme in this year’s budget is going to almost double.”
Scheme UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna) provides for the financial turnaround and revival of power distribution companies (Discoms) and importantly, also ensures a sustainable permanent solution to the problem.