Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], July 4 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi on Monday said that Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb's claims about no electricity crisis in the state are "ridiculous".
"While the people are facing frequent power cuts, it is ridiculous that the energy minister is saying that there is no electricity problem in the state," Majhi said during an adjournment motion in the Odisha assembly while expressing concern over the alleged power crisis in the state.
Emphasising that the electricity bill in Odisha is higher than the national rate, Majhi said, "Consumers in the neighbouring states are getting electricity at a cheaper price as compared to Odisha. They are also getting an uninterrupted power supply."
He also asked about the whereabouts of Rs 20,000 crore that was meant for the power section reforms.
According to the opposition in the state, the average rate of electricity across the country is Rs 5.11 per unit, whereas it costs an average rate of Rs 5.22 per unit to the people in Odisha.
Accusing the authorities of mismanagement, Majhi said, "The consumers are bearing the brunt due to mismanagement of the authorities."
Senior Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja also reiterated the power crisis faced by the state.
"Free electricity is being provided in Delhi and Punjab. Even though we are generating electricity, more money is being charged per unit," Saluja alleged.
Replying to the motion, Odisha Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb said, "There is no power crisis in the state and Odisha is a power surplus state."
According to the Energy Minister, after the reforms in the power sector, the consumer base in the state has increased by six times, as the number of consumers has significantly increased to from 16 lakh to 96 lakh, while the capacity of the additional high voltage transformer has also been increased to 24,420 Megavolt Ampere (MVA) from 4,235 MVA. The peak demand and the energy requirement have increased by three times.
"The government has met the demand smoothly. Other states are giving power at Rs 5.11 with subsidy but we are giving it at a rate of Rs 5.22," Deb said.
"In the state of giving a subsidy, we have already spent more than 12 thousand crores for a better service to the public," he added. (ANI)
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