Launching the one-lakh agricultural power connections scheme here, Stalin said that the previous AIADMK government has provided only about two lakh power connections to agriculture in their 10-year rule as against 2.09 lakh connections provided between 2006 and 2011 DMK rule. "This is the difference between the AIADMK and DMK regimes. In less than four months of coming to power, we are providing one-lakh connections. DMK government is always a pro-farmer," he said, appreciating the effort of Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji in launching the scheme in a short time.
Recalling his father and the then chief minister M Karunanidhi launching the free power supply scheme for agriculture in 1990, he said from 1978 farmers led by Narayasamy Naidu protested seeking a concession on the power tariff for agricultural consumers. "When Kalaignar became the chief minister, he announced in the Assembly in 1990 that free power supply scheme for farmers. No farmers had sought such a scheme. In that line, we are launching the one-lakh power supply connection scheme," he said.
Stalin noted that the launch of the scheme does not mean that Tangedco's financial condition is good. "The previous AIADMK government has ruined the finances of the electricity board. Tangedco has a debt burden of Rs 1.59 lakh crore and paying an annual interest of Rs 16,000 crore," he said that blaming the decisions to go for high-cost power procurement, signing of long term power purchase agreement, irregularities in the coal stocks in the thermal power plants and non-maintenance of power distribution.
He said that in the AIADMK rule, a mere 1,481 MW new power generation capacity was added and of them, 1,428 MW projects were planned during the previous DMK government. "After coming to power, we have taken steps to revive Tangedco. The work has been initiated on new power projects with a total capacity of 17,980 MW and efforts are taken to complete all the ongoing power projects. Solar power generation will be given priority and the first solar park will be set up at Tiruvarur district. "Tangedco has signed an MoU with IREDA on mobilizing Rs 1.32 lakh crore funds required for power projects," he said.