“I have been asking since yesterday why did you (AIADMK) not do maintenance for nine months. We are experiencing power cuts only due to the lack of maintenance. The Chief Minister has instructed us to complete the maintenance work on a war footing in 10 days and ensure that the state was power-cut free,” Senthilbalaji told the Assembly, before citing the number of power cuts suffered by T Nagar division since March.
Within a month, the department has assessed the extent of maintenance required, purchased spares and dispatched them to places concerned, said the Minister, intervening during Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami’s participation in the debate on Governor’s address.
He also accused the previous AIADMK regime of purchasing power from private parties without utilising the installed capacity of the state energy department. Pointing out that the installed capacity of Tangedco was increased from 5,677 MW to 7,158 MW owing to the three power plants developed in Mettur and North Chennai during 2006-11 DMK tenure, he said that only 2,406 MW of the installed capacity was produced in 2021 to purchase power from private parties. When Deputy Leader of Opposition O Panneerselvam sought details of the demand and supply, the Minister clarified that the production by Tangedco, receipt from Central grid and private purchase has made the state power surplus, which enabled it to supply 700 MW to Punjab.
Alleging that the previous AIADMK regime had made long-term power purchase agreements, Senthilbalaji said that in one agreement, the tender was floated for 1,000 MW, but at the time of signing the agreement, it was made for 3,330 MW for 15 years. Blaming the AIADMK of purchasing power up to Rs 9 per unit, he said the previous regime was so inefficient that subsidy provided by the Union government had become debt because the government did not spend it in the stipulated three years.