Reddy to discuss Andhra Pradesh power supply with PM


    Hyderabad, (IANS) Worried about the grim power situation in Andhra Pradesh following a cut in the gas supply by the centre’s Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will be in Delhi Monday to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    Reddy will complain to the prime minister that the gas meant for Andhra Pradesh is allegedly being diverted to Maharashtra. Reddy will be accompanied by central ministers and MPs from the state.

    Reddy reviewed the situation Sunday with senior officials after the cut in gas supply forced 14 plants in the state to shut down, resulting in a loss of 400 MW of power.

    The centre on August 1 decided to divert some more Reliance gas from the K.G. Basin to the Ratnagiri power plant in Maharashtra. Under its quota, Andhra Pradesh was receiving 3.48 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metre a day) gas against the commitment of 6.8 MMSCMD. After the fresh cut, the state is hardly getting 1.48 MMSCMD.

    The reduction of gas supply hiked the difference between demand and supply of power to 50 million units a day. Three- to six-hour power cuts were already in force in various cities and towns while the industrial sector has been going without power for three days a week due to gas shortage and poor inflows in hydel stations.

    The centre’s move to divert gas to Maharashtra has evoked criticism both from the ruling and the opposition parties.

    Union Minister of Petroleum S. Jaipal Reddy, who is from Andhra Pradesh, has expressed his inability to intervene in correcting the gas diversion to Maharashtra.

    The Congress government in the state is facing an embarrassment as a section of the ruling party leaders have joined the opposition in criticising the government for not mounting pressure on the centre.

    The five central ministers and Congress MPs from the state have come under criticism for remaining silent over the ‘injustice’ to the state.

    Seeking the prime minister’s intervention to bail out the state, government whip in the legislative council R. Padmaraju said the ruling party would be forced to join hands with the opposition to launch a protest.