From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Nov 16: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa skipped the Southern Zonal Council meeting, which was chaired by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in Bangalore on Friday, but utilized the opportunity to demand additional power for her State facing acute shortage of power.
The South Zonal Council meeting is convened by the Centre for discussing various security related issues.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, who abstained from the meeting attended by chief ministers of other Southern States, including Karnataka, ensured that her demand was voiced by the State’s Finance Minister O Paneer Selvam when he read out her prepared speech.
Jayalalithaa, had in her speech, expressed her unhappiness at the Centre’s refusal to divert additional power surrendered by Congress-ruled Delhi in favour of her State and demanded that the Centre must take immediate steps to inter-connect the Southern and National Power Grids that power could brought and sold by any State from other States.
''Mere geographical location of a State should not be a handicap for buying and selling power,” she said.
Southern States Excluded from National Grid
While North, East, West and North Eastern parts were inter-connected as a single grid, she said it was unfortunate that the Southern region had not been extended the same benefit.
“This creates an imbalance between the Southern region and the rest of the country,” she said pointing out that the Southern region would be deprived of the facility of actively participating in and benefiting from National power market.
“The geographical location of a particular State should not be a handicap to buying or selling electricity from or to any other State within the country. This problem should be sorted out by the Government of India at the earliest,” she said.
The Centre had told the Supreme Court last week that it was not possible to supply power, surrendered by Delhi to Tamil Nadu as the grid in state did not have the capacity for absorbing additional power and the state itself was responsible for it.
Noting that the demand-supply mismatch at present was between 3000 to 4000 MW, she said it was estimated that the expected demand by the end of 12th Plan Period will be 18,311 MW.
However, the present availability of power was barely around 8,500 MW, Jayalalithaa said.
She recalled her letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the allocation of entire power of 1000 MW to be generated from the first unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to Tamil Nadu.
The Chief Minister said the North Chennai Thermal Power Station project (comprising two additional units of 600 MW - 1,200 MW) was ready for commissioning but revised environment clearance has not yet given by Ministry of Environment and Forest department.