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Rajasthan elections: BJP to stage protest in state over daily power cuts

Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore, claimed that the state produced 23,309MW of power has not been seen anywhere

Slowdown blues for electrical equipment industry as Saubhagya ends

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly Rajendra Rathore announced that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be holding a state-wide protest in Rajasthan on Thursday against the constant power cuts that are spanning five to nine hours daily, according to a report by the Times of India.

According to the report, Rathore said, "All our morchas will hold a symbolic dharna by hoisting black flags. BJP's Yuva Morcha, Kisan Morcha, and Mahila Morcha will take out lantern torch marches on power cuts."

The statement was made in a video on Wednesday, where Rathore slammed the CM Ashok Gehlot-led government of Rajasthan for making false claims on the quantity of power being produced and promises of reducing electricity costs.

Rathore stated that while the government claimed to meet 100 per cent of the state's power needs, this could not be the case as power cuts continue. Moreover, the BJP leader claimed that electricity bills had increased by 20 to 30 per cent in households in the last two months. He added that the government had levied a surcharge of Rs 52 paisa per unit, while the 100 unit subsidy is not reflected in electricity bills. The aforementioned surcharge has reportedly not been applied for the last four and a half years.

According to the leader of the Opposition in Rajasthan, the supply demand in Rajasthan can reach 16,500MW during peak hours, while the availability of electricity is only 13,000 to 14,000 MW. He pointed towards the closure of seven units of the 2740MW capacity of Kota, Suratgarh, Chhabra, and Kalisindh power plants for low electricity production. The plant was supposedly closed due to "lack of coal and technical maintenance".

C P Joshi, BJP's state president, took to X (formerly Twitter), writing, "The promise of free electricity was made, but where is the electricity with the Congress government of the state? Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ji, due to your indolent and corrupt policies, today the people of the state are troubled by the lack of power supply."
Calling out corruption, Rathore added that the Congress government had purchased coal from the Adani Group for Rs 18,000 per metric tonne and is preparing to purchase from abroad for Rs 15,000 per metric tonne, despite the availability of coal in the local market at the price of Rs 4,000 to 6,000 metric tonne.

He said, "The Gehlot government had arrogantly said in the assembly that Rajasthan has become a power surplus state with 23,309 MW of electricity. The government had also promised to provide 100 units of free electricity to the public and a fuel surcharge waiver. Whereas today, the situation in the state is such that there is a power cut of 5 to 6 hours in urban areas and seven to nine hours in rural areas."

As earlier reported by Business Standard, CM Gehlot had held a review meeting on late Tuesday night regarding power supply in the state, where the CM instructed officers to properly inform citizens of impending power cuts in the affected area in advance.

Explaining the lack of electrical power, the chief minister said that the sowing of crops had increased historically due to good rains in June-July. At the same time, due to the lack of rain in August, the demand for electricity for irrigation also increased.

There has been a massive gap between the demand and supply of electricity due to the non-supply of coal from Chhattisgarh and the increase in demand from domestic consumers due to heat and other reasons.

He further directed the officials to make electricity available to agricultural consumers by reducing the power given to industries if required.

Gehlot said that the state government is ready to buy power even at an expensive rate for adequate power availability to the consumers. However, he pointed out that there is no power availability in the power exchange.
 

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First Published: Aug 24 2023 | 2:28 PM IST

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