Reliance gas diversion scripts Kiran-Jaipal rift
With the Centre not ready to withdraw its order of diverting the two million metric standard cubic meters per day (MMSMD) of gas from Krishna-Godavari Basin to Ratnagiri power plant in Maharashtra, the state government is bracing for a possible row with the Union government.
The issue, which will push the power-starved state in a deeper quandary, is also said to be creating a rift between chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Union petroleum and natural gas minister S Jaipal Reddy, with both of them passing the buck for the Centre’s order.
Kiran Kumar had on Friday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, energy minister Veerappa Moily and Jaipal Reddy not to divert the gas. He had also directed minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and officials of power utilities to meet Jaipal.
When Dharmana and co explained the situation to Jaipal on Saturday, the latter reportedly refused to intervene in the issue and instead suggested that the state should approach the Prime Minister.
Dismissing as false the allegations of Opposition parties that he was not protecting his home state’s interests, Jaipal Reddy made it clear that he had tried his best to provide gas to the state. He said that the power ministry had waited till August 1 to divert the gas to Ratnagiri plant, though the actual date as per the agreement was March 1. He made it clear that he could no longer stop the diversion of the gas from the KG basin. He further said there were alternatives before the state government to buy additional gas. However, he alleged that the state was not doing so.
Kiran Kumar has now sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him of the power situation and seek additional gas and coal. Other Congress leaders are also getting ready to take the issue up with the high command.