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TN: BJP Blames DMK for Power Cuts Even as BJP Ruled States Suffer Black Outs

Neelambaran A |
Tamil Nadu BJP has alleged an ‘artificial power crisis', while load shedding of around 4% to 12% has been reported by several states, including BJP ruled states like Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, as of April 1, 2022.
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The coal shortage in thermal power stations across the country has resulted in power cuts and load shedding in many states. But the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is blaming the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government for the ongoing crisis.

The reduction in the supply of coal from major coal manufacturing companies and lack of rail rakes for transportation of coal to thermal power stations has resulted in the shortage, leading to load shedding.

Of the 173 coal-powered thermal power stations, around 150 plants have reported depleting coal stock, with 50 plants having a stock of 10% of the requirement. Barely a month ago, the Government of India took credit for reducing coal imports.

But, the Tamil Nadu BJP has alleged an ‘artificial power crisis', while load shedding of around 4% to 12% has been reported by several states, including BJP ruled states like Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, as of April 1, 2022.

The ally of the BJP in the state, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), also has accused the DMK of the crisis without getting into the facts behind the coal crisis, while the ruling party is weak in putting out the facts with poor defence.

The DMK has failed to expose the Union government's lack of planning on ensuring coal stock for states and is forced to defend itself. The chief minister had written to the union government to ensure a hassle-free supply of coal to the plants in the state to avert any further power shortage.

BJP BLAMES STATE GOVERNMENT’

On April 20, several parts of Tamil Nadu witnessed power cuts during nighttime, leading to outrage from the public about the unannounced cuts. The minister for electricity informed that the 750 MW reduction from the central grid was the reason behind the outage.

The generation was increased from state resources, and power was restored in urban areas. Power will be restored in rural areas shortly,” the minister tweeted.

The BJP state leadership quickly attacked the DMK government for the power crisis. “DMK has mastered the art of creating an artificial power shortage and pushing people into distress. A power shortage that never existed since 2017 has been created artificially ever since DMK took over for reasons best known to the @CMOTamilnadu,” tweeted K Annamalai, state president of BJP.

The social media trolls of the BJP and AIADMK soon joined the chorus and cornered the DMK government without taking into account the power cuts in states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP leaders and followers are hiding the fact that increasing coal shortage and summer demand are the reason for the power cuts and load shedding.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?’

The union ministers for power and railways held a meeting on April 25 to discuss the rake availability for transporting coal to thermal power plants. BJP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka continue to report power cuts due to a reduction in coal stocks.

The Power Engineers Association also warned of an increase in power cuts in 12 states, owing to coal shortage in thermal power plants and increasing temperature fuelling the energy demand.

The government of India March 2022 claimed that it had managed to reduce the coal imports due to higher domestic coal production. But, within no time, several thermal power plants have reported a coal shortage.

Of the 13 thermal power plants, 11 plants had a 25% of the stock of normative coal requirement. Though Karnataka reported an increase in coal supply, it continued to suffer from the fast depletion of stocks.

Coal India Limited (CIL) 's decision to prioritise coal supply to thermal power plants has raised concerns for the industries. Since the beginning of April, the micro, medium, and small industries have been spending more on diesel for generator operations.

The Tamil unit of the BJP is conveniently hiding the truth on coal shortage and logistical issues and squarely blaming the DMK government in the state. At the same time, data suggest the abject failure of the union government. Despite frequently huddling to address the crisis, the government continues to cover up for its failure, while the common man and industries have started to feel the impact of the power cuts.

A similar situation was prevailing across the country in September-October 2021, but states like Tamil Nadu countered the crisis by power purchases and utilising renewable energy sources.

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