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PM's Intervention Sought For TN Power Crisis

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Faced with acute power shortage in the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Friday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention for allocating 1000 MW of additional power to tide over the crisis.

In a letter to Singh, Jayalalithaa recalled that she had taken up with him the matter during their meeting on June 14 last year when she visited Delhi after assuming power.

Jayalalithaa said she had requested 1000 MW of additional power for the state for a period of one year till the central power utilities, which supply power to Tamil Nadu, commenced their production. Of this, only 100 MW was recently allotted, she said.

"This inaction and non-responsiveness to our repeated requests during this unprecedented power crisis only shows callousness and indifference on the part of the Centre," she said in her letter to Singh.

She said major power projects to be executed by Central PSUs such as BHEL, NLC and NTPC were 'inordinately delayed' and to offset the part of the deficit, the state government was trying to procure power from other states with fair amount of success.

"However, non-availability of a Transmission Corridor has deprived Tamil Nadu of receiving the contracted power. To cite some examples, Tamil Nadu has contracted a capacity of 500 MW from Gujarat. Of this, only 203 MW could be transmitted. The 727 MW of Night Power contracted from Dadri Power Station (Uttar Pradesh) of M/s NTPC was also curtailed," she said.

The state had contracted around 1750 MW of power from outside for March this year, she said.

"The power deficit situation in Tamil Nadu has been aggravated by the prevailing corridor congestion. The problem of corridor congestion has also been represented to the Central authorities several times", Jayalalithaa said.

"I request you to kindly intervene in the matter and ensure that the required quantum of 1000 MW of power transmission lines is released to enable Tamil Nadu to receive power contracted by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board", she told Singh.

"The amazing alacrity shown in superimposing fetters on the rights of the states may also be bestowed on concern for the essential needs of the states and attention to fulfilling them," she said.

Acute power shortage had affected the industrial units in the state even as the state government has revised load-shedding duration besides announcing power holidays for manufacturers.

The fate of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, which was due to have gone on steam by now, also hangs in the balance following months of protests by locals led by an anti-nuclear lobby.