GUWAHATI, May 23 � There seems to be a conspiracy to hand over the public sector power utilities of the State to the private sector by leading them to an irrecoverable fund crunch, alleged the Bidyut Grahak Mancha, Guwahati, at a press conference here today.
Mancha general secretary Subodh Sarma blamed the State Government for the fund crunch that has been crippling the power utilities of the State. The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) has not been provided support to contest the power prices quoted whimsically by the Central sector power generators, like the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation and the National Thermal Power Corporation.
Again, the Assam Electricity Grid Corporation Ltd has also been made to pay by the nose to the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd for using the latter�s power transmission system.
On top of all these, high cost of generation, lack of optimum utilisation of the assets of the Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd and the AEGCL, inherent financial sickness of the APDCL caused by tariff fixation policy, corruption and mismanagement of the companies, are also found to be the contributing factors for the present malaise in the State�s power utilities, he said.
Since the cash-starved APDCL is to buy power from the Central sector power generating companies making payments in advance, it has to restrict itself to lesser procurements compared to its demand. Mismanagement and the faulty decisions of the State Government, along with the defective tariff policy resulted in the cash deficit of the APDCL to the tune of Rs 558.74 crore and Rs 289.15 crore, in 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscals respectively.
Though in such a situation, the State Government should have come forward with a policy of providing subsidies to the power utilities in line with the Delhi Government, to save them from sinking, it is resorting to a lump sum payment against the power consumed by Ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats, which always turns out to be meagre.