After months of sparring over the worsening power situation in Uttar Pradesh, Union MoS for power and coal Piyush Goyal and state CM Akhilesh Yadav will finally meet in Lucknow on Saturday to find a solution to the acute power crisis the state faces. The minister will arrive early
in the morning and head straight to meet the CM at his residence.
A senior UPPCL official said the department was busy drawing up the agenda for the meeting. “Coal shortage in UP would be the main point of discussion, apart from getting new coal blocks,” he said.
“The power generating plants in the state are currently getting only 75% of the coal that has been allocated while IPPs such as
Reliance and Bajaj are getting only 40% coal. Even the central power stations, which were generating 94% power till June, are now generating only 74% because of coal shortage. This is leading to an acute power crisis,” he said.
Apart from coal shortage, the CM is likely to discuss the issue of transferring coal linkage of the 1,320-mw Karchana power project that is coming up in Allahabad, from the Jaypee group to Uttar Pradesh Vidyut Utpadan Nigam, which is now developing the project.
The project has been hanging fire for seven years now since 2007 when it was handed over to the Jaypee group. The group had pulled out of the project last year.
“The CM will discuss the allocation of a new coal block to UP in place of the Chendipara block, which was cancelled by the Supreme Court, and also ask the Union minister to get environmental clearance as well as investment approval from the cabinet committee for investment for the Ghatampur project,” he said.
It may be mentioned that both ministers had indulged in a war of words over the last few months over the power crisis in the state, with
the chief minister alleging that the central government was not making available enough fuel for power companies in the state. The Union minister, on his part, insisted that UP itself was responsible for its woes.
Akhilesh then decided to put updates about the power crisis and coal shortage on Twitter, thereby taking the war to another platform.
Another significant issue that would be taken up by the CM would be the development of a transmission corridor between the western region and northern region.
“We are facing major difficulties in getting power from the western grid,” he said.
Besides, the CM is likely to ask the minister to revise the FRP and extend it by three years so as to help bring down losses.