PATNA: Criticising senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi for claiming that Bihar was suffering from a power shortage in peak summer, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today asserted that the power situation was on the contrary quite good.
The chief minister said that more than 3000 MW of electricity was being provided to consumers and a large share of it was being purchased from open market.
Even street lights were burning bright in the night and villages were getting adequate power on a regular basis, he said.
On Modi's claim that the bulk of the electricity to Bihar was coming from the central pool, Nitish said that the central government was not doing any favour to Bihar or any other state for this because the states were paying for this at the prescribed rate which was more than the prevailing market rate at times.
"What will the Centre do with power if it cannot use it on its own or allocate to the states?" Kumar said and wondered why the BJP was taking credit for the power supply from the Centre.
He said that the saffron party and its leaders would get due credit if they supply electricity to Bihar free of cost.
"We will thank you (BJP and its leaders) if you can prevail upon the Centre to provide free-of-cost electricity to Bihar," he said.
Alleging that Modi was making baseless charges about power shortage in Bihar, Kumar said that the state government had installed transmission lines to supply 4000 MW electricity and that more such infrastructure was being laid to improve uninterrupted supply of the commodity to the consumers.
The chief minister also criticised the Centre for stopping availability of funds to Bihar under the Backward Regions Grant Funds on recommendations by the 14th Finance Commission earlier this year and said the allocated funds under this head was being used for improvement of the power sector in the state.