Power ‘outages,’ power purchase rock Tamil Nadu assembly | Chennai News – Times of India


CHENNAI: Heated arguments were witnessed on Wednesday in the Tamil Nadu assembly between the AIADMK and DMK over power cut and power purchase agreements of both governments at a higher rate leading to loss to Tangedco, the state-run power utility.
Electricity minister V Senthil Balaji said the ongoing maintenance of power infrastructure was the reason for the scheduled shutdown in certain divisions and the work, which was on a war-footing, would be completed in ten days.
Participating in the debate on motion of thanks to the governor’s address to the assembly, main opposition leader Edappadi K Palaniswami alleged that the state was reeling under severe power ‘outages’ which even lasted two or three hours. “There are power cuts frequently. We saw there were no such power cuts during our AIADMK regime,” he said, triggering sharp reactions from the treasury.
Balaji said the previous regime had failed to take up maintenance for nine months leading to disruptions in power supply, while the government was setting right with scheduled maintenance for three hours a day in certain areas. In T Nagar alone, there were 982 feeder trips reported in January and 581 in February.
When Palaniswami insisted that the increased generation of power alone could prevent the outages, the minister intervened to say that the installed capacity of the Tangedco increased to 7,158MW in the AIADMK regime, due to the three projects initiated by the previous DMK government in Mettur and North Chennai stations. The generation was, however, 2,406MW.
“Despite having the installed capacity, you reduced the generation and purchased power at a higher rate. The purchase was even Rs 5.02 per unit in 2021,” Balaji alleged, recalling the government’s proposal to have a detailed strategic study of the finances and governance structure of Tangedco and Tanatransco.
Noisy scenes were witnessed when former AIADMK ministers Natham R Viswanathan and P Thangamani and the AIADMK members stood on their feet to respond which the Chair did not permit. Certain remarks of Viswanthan were expunged.
Palaniswami alleged the previous DMK regime too purchased a unit of power from private players in the range of Rs 9 and Rs 13. Balaji said the DMK entered into short-term deals to meet the requirements when there was technical snag or lack of renewable energy, while the AIADMK long-term power purchase agreements for 15 and 25 years.
“You floated tenders for 1000MW and signed for 3330MW to supply power for 15 years. Fixed cost was Rs 4.95 and there was variable cost too,” the minister charged.
Earlier, the minister, who also holds prohibition and excise portfolio, said the Tasmac outlets were opened in 27 districts owing to falling total positivity rate. It was 5.4% when the shops were opened and fell to 2.8% on Wednesday.

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