Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday criticised the Tamil Nadu government for not wanting ordinary people to benefit from the state’s electricity, but instead wanting power thieves to benefit.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai after a party meeting, Javadekar also said that Tamil Nadu chief minister J.Jayalalithaa was inaccessible.
He was echoing the views of Union power minister Piyush Goyal, who expressed similar views at a conference in New Delhi last week.
Reacting to Tamil Nadu electricity minister Natham R. Viswanathan’s statement that the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme would benefit only private power producers and banks, Javadekar said the scheme would actually cut power theft.
According to him, 18 states including several non-Bharatiya Janata Party ruled ones, signed up for the UDAY scheme as they realised that it would benefit the honest consumers.
Javadekar said around Rs 180,000 crore will be saved through this scheme and it will bring many power distribution companies out of red. He said Tamil Nadu’s power distribution company had reported a loss of around Rs 12,000 crore last fiscal.
He also faulted the Tamil Nadu government for not joining the UJALA scheme to provide LED bulbs at lower cost which has benefitted around nine crore people in the country.