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Nothing official about it!

lucknow Updated: Sep 01, 2012 12:05 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The Akhilesh Yadav government may have taken the decision to supply 24X7 electricity to Rae Bereli and Amethi, for the record no government official is ready to own the decision at all.

While principal secretary, energy, Anil Kumar Gupta has categorically told mediapersons that no such orders were issued from his side, no one from the UPPCL is ready to own up, obviously for political reasons.

When asked if the orders to supply round-the-clock power to Rae Bareli and Amethi should be withdrawn as nobody was owning up the orders, UP Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (UPPTCL) director (Operations) AK Singh only said, “We take the decision to increase or decrease power supply to any town depending on the availability of electricity in the system.”

Represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively in the Lok Sabha, Rae Barelli and Amethi suddenly started getting 24-hour power supply from Tuesday night, joining the league of VIP cities like Etawah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Rampur etc.

Sources in the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) said it was only after a senior official from the government’s energy department called up managing director AP Mihsra that orders for 24-hour supply to the two towns, undergoing power cuts like any other ordinary towns for years, were forwarded to the concerning transmission sub-stations.

“We learn that Congress leader Sonia Gandhi met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Parliament after which the latter called up the chief minister here asking to start giving 24-hour electricity supply to the two towns,” a senior UPPCL official said. No wonder, there are many who see politics behind power officials denying any role.

“Mulayam Singh Yadav’s opening a front against the Congress demanding a judicial probe into the coal block allocation will lose its seriousness if it is seen vis-à-vis the orders on Rae Bareli and Amethi. After, all the SP has to fight against the Congress in 2014,” a bureaucrat explained.

Aware of the SP’s dilemma, BJP state president Laxmi Kant Vajpayee has demanded the Akhilesh Yadav government to withdraw the order to supply 24-hour power to Rae Bareli and Amethi if nobody was ready to own the same.

“The fact is that Mulayam Singh Yadav gave the orders after Sonia Gandhi walked up to him in the Lok Sabha,” he said and added, “this exposed the hidden Congress-SP friendship to the people. And because the SP can't be seen openly helping the Congress, under a growing attack from all quarters on the issue of corruption, officials are shying away from owning it."

Senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Swami Prasad Maurya demanded equal treatment to all the districts irrespective of their political importance.

“Only a few constituencies like Etawah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Rae Barelli and Amethi get 24-hour power supply while rest of the state face blackouts for hours,” he alleged.

All-India Power Engineers Federation, secretary general, Shailendra Dubey suggested that no district should be given extra power merely because it was represented by an influential politician.

“If it is done so, then the list of VIP districts will go on stretching forcing the UPPCL to overdraw power from the grid for a heavy price,” he explained.

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