Goyal poser to Rawat: Why are you still buying power?
Union power minister Piyush Goyal Tuesday said Uttarakhand was still buying electricity from Centre even as several hydro-power projects were facing legal hurdles while operations at some were suspendeddehradun Updated: Feb 07, 2017 20:45 IST
Dehradun: Alleging that five years of Congress rule have brought development to a halt in Uttarakhand, Union power minister Piyush Goyal Tuesday said the state was still buying electricity from Centre even as several hydro-power projects were facing legal hurdles while operations at some were suspended.
“Uttarakhand consumes is 1300-1400 MW but it is still purchasing 411 MW power. It is because of the poor planning by the state government. Since I took charge of the ministry, chief minister Harish Rawat has met me only once. When the state has so many opportunities in power sector then why is it still buying it,” Goyal asked.
When asked what was his roadmap for tapping the hydro-electricity potential of the state where the entire area from Gomukh to Bhagirathi had been declared as eco-sensitive zone, Goyal said it will not be an impediment.
“While the fragile Himalayan ecology cannot be compromised, the state’s vast potential in hydro-electricity also cannot be allowed to remain unutilised. The eco-sensitive zone notification is alright but the entire Uttarakhand is not eco-sensitive zone. We will speed up run-of-the-river projects to exploit its hydro-electricity potential to the full without obstructing the flow of its rivers,” Goyal said.
He said it was time to elect a corruption-free government in the state, which can realise the vision with which it was created through judicious utilisation of its vast resources.
“Over the past five years, the vision with which (former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee created Uttarakhand has been put on the backburner by a government too busy with scams. The state’s potential in the tourism and power sectors remain largely unexploited. It is time people of Uttarakhand voted to power a clean and corruption free government which could turn Atalji’s vision into a reality,” Goyal said.
Rebutting Rawat’s charge that the Centre was not helping Uttarakhand, Goyal said it had never discriminated against the state. “If Rawat’s charge were true, the Centre would not have laid the foundation stone of Rs 11,700 crore all-weather 900-km network of roads for the Chardham,” he said.
When asked what his ministry in particular had done for the state, Goyal said “We have given 17 per cent additional power to the state besides making enough power available in power exchange which can be bought cheaply as per the state’s requirements”.
Promising to take Uttarakhand to new heights of development, he said farmers with 10-year-old pumps will be provided free energy-efficient pumps fitted with flow metres, which will regulate the flow of water into their fields.