Yogi’s minister short-circuits govt’s power supply claims

A minister in Yogi Adityanath’s state cabinet has exposed the tall claims of UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma about “sufficient” supply of “quality” electricity in the state.

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Biswajeet Banerjee

A minister in Yogi Adityanath’s state cabinet has exposed the tall claims of UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma about “sufficient” supply of “quality” electricity in the state. Excise and Prohibition Minister Jai Pratap Singh wrote a letter to the Power Minister, saying electricity supply is deteriorating and it is bringing a bad name to the government.

Singh wrote the letter on July 19 – the day Sharma told Vidhan Sabha that power supply in Yogi Government’s tenure is better than that in the previous Samajwadi Party regime. He even said that “villagers are very happy with the quality of electricity they are getting now.”

The letter from the Excise Minister took the steam out of Power Minister’s tall claim. In one page letter, which was leaked out to media on Friday, Singh said that “Despite assurance from Chief Minister and from you (power minister), electricity supply in Sidharthnagar district is pathetic”.

He further wrote: “There is continuous disruption in power supply in urban and rural areas of Sidharthnagar. This has angered people. This is also bringing bad name to the government. Please ensure supply of electricity as per the roster announced by the government.”

The Power Minister had declared in Vidhan Sabha that electricity department has prepared a roster according to which cities will get electricity for 24 hours, the tehsils and Bundelkhand region for 20 hours and villages will get quality power for at least 18 hours. In Vidhan Sabha, he also read out a comparison claiming that electricity supply in BJP regime is better than that during the SP’s rule.

But the Excise Minister does not seem to be on the same page as that of Power minister as far as power supply in Sidharthnagar region is concerned. He specifically said in his letter that despite the CM’s announcement, the situation has not improved. Instead, it is deteriorating with every passing day, he said.

Singh is a five-time MLA from Bansi in Sidharthnagar, in eastern Uttar Pradesh and had staged several protests in the district on this issue during the previous regime’s rule.

The BJP regime has seen deterioration in power supply. The worst affected is eastern Uttar Pradesh where many villages and regions are forced to go without electricity for weeks together as the government does not have enough transformers to replace those which have been damaged in rains.

The government order says that the damaged transformers should be replaced within 48 hours. Government record on district-wise damage of transformers and their replacement shows that 3,73,781 transformers have been installed in eastern UP spread over 21 districts. As many as 4,334 transformers have been damaged between July 1 and July 20 of which 4,072 transformers were replaced.

“There is no paucity of electricity but what we lack is healthy transformer. We do not have enough transformers in our store. A campaign was launched in May to replace faulty transformers but this campaign has gone phut,” a senior official said.

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Published: 22 Jul 2017, 7:45 PM