HYDERABAD: The Telangana Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Central government to withdraw the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, describing it as being detrimental to the interests of farmers and the poor.
Moving the resolution in the House, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao termed the Centre’s Electricity Amendment Bill as ‘draconian’ and said it would usurp the rights of the States. The Bill is against the federal spirit of the Constitution, Rao said and declared that the TRS MPs would oppose the Bill in both Houses of the Parliament.
Once the Bill is adopted, the State government would have to fix meters for 26 lakh agriculture pump sets in the State. “After the formation of the State, the farmers are now enjoying some benefits due to the construction of irrigation projects and due to good rains. Fixing meters on agriculture motors will not help farmers. Besides, the State government requires a whopping `750 crore to purchase the meters,” Rao said.
The Chief Minister said when the Bill becomes part of the Act, then industrialists would be given open access to purchase power, which would push the Discoms deep into losses as there would be no cross subsidy in the power sector.
Against federal spirit
“The Bill would facilitate the Central government to appoint the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions with members of its choice. The Load Dispatch Centre too would be managed by the Centre once the Bill is adopted. These provisions in the Bill are nothing but taking away the rights of the States,” the Chief Minister said.
“The Bill is against the federal spirit and is of no use to the people. Further, it will hurt their interests,” he added.The privatisation of the power sector proposed in the Bill would pose a threat to the very existence of Discoms, Gencos and Transcos and is also detrimental to lakhs of power sector employees in the country, he said.
The CM said that the Centre was not considering hydel power generated at Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) as renewable energy and at the same time it wants to insist on States purchasing renewable energy from power plants in the north, which are at present running in losses.
“If the States do not purchase power from them, the States are liable to pay a fine of `50 paise to `2 per unit of power not purchased from them. If we purchase, then the power plants in the State would fold up,” he said.
He explained that the total installed power capacity of the country is over 4 lakh MW. But, the maximum peak load is just 2.19 lakh MW. “Despite this, some States in north are facing power cuts,” he said.
Cong, BJP failed
Meanwhile, the CM said that both the Congress and the BJP governments at the Centre failed to implement the directive principals of State policy enshrined in the Constitution and usurped the rights of the States.
“We have 70,000 tmc ft of water in the country. The total utilisation of water has not crossed 28,000 tmc ft. Though we have so much water, yet cities like Chennai are crying for a bucketful of water. Both Congress and BJP failed to resolve the drinking water and irrigation problems of the country. They lacked the basic concept of resolving the peoples’ issues,” he said.
The CM recently wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the latter to withdraw the Electricity (A) Bill.