Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy took his niggling contest with Union minister Jaipal Reddy to a higher level Friday, this time broadly hinting that the latter, as the holder of the petroleum and natural gas portfolio at the Centre, ought to be doing more to secure gas for two power projects coming up in Telangana. The dig comes a week after the chief minister scored a brownie point over Jaipal Reddy by persuading Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to restore to Andhra Pradesh gas supplies from the Krishna- Godavari basin after they had been diverted to Maharashtra.
Touring Khammam for his Indiramma Baata programme, the chief minister told a Telangana audience that his government has been lobbying the Centre for months to allocate gas for two power projects coming up at Nedunur in Karimnagar district and Shankarapalli in Rangareddy district.
Stopping short of accusing Jaipal Reddy of being a spectator to this pursuit of the state interest, the chief minister said, “I have written to the Centre several times. Jaipal Reddy, who is an MP from Telangana and holds charge of petroleum and natural gas, should show interest.”
This nudge-nudge to the Union minister was contained in a straight-faced but invective-laced press relase from the chief minister’s office, which subtly referenced Jaipal Reddy’s claim to be a leader of Telangana.
The chief minister, according to it, said, “Jaipal Reddy is the Union minister of petroleum and natural gas from Telangana region. It would be in the fitness of things had he taken the initaitive and had the gas allocated.”
Construction of the two projects has been handicapped by the lack of gas allocation to them, Kiran Kumar said and added that he himself has been fervent in lobbying the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Union ministers.
Apart from the PM’s office, Kiran Kumar said he wrote to Jaipal himself on July 7, requesting to allocation of 9. 72 MMSCMD of gas to the Nedunur project and 4. 62 MMSCMD to the Shankarapalli power project.
The 2,100 MW combinedcycle gas-based power project at Nedunur is being built by APGenco and has been billed as a major power project of crucial significance to Telangana.
The chief minister said land acquisition for the project has been completed and all statutory clearances, including water allocation from the Maneru dam, obtained. Now all that was needed is 9. 72 MMSCMD of natural gas.
Based on assurance by gas producer Reliance Industries Ltd, APGenco completed all developmental activity.But the government has not been able to go ahead with the finalisation of the EPC contract for want of gas allocation. The 1,000 MW combinedcycle gas-based project at Shankarapally village is aimed at serving the needs of Hyderabad, especially the Metro rail project.
Here too developmental activity including land acquisition has been completed. All that is needes is 4. 62 MMSCMD of natural gas.