The BJP has accused the JMM-led government in Jharkhand of failing to provide a steady supply of electricity and adequate water to people as the mineral-rich state is witnessing a prolonged power outage, amid a sweltering heatwave. Saffron party's National Vice President Raghubar Das has written to Chief Minister Hemant Soren, alleging that the deepening power crisis is a result of "lack of planning".
"Presently, Jharkhand requires 2,300 MW (megawatt) to 2,600 MW of power but is getting barely 1200 MW...The government's inaction is responsible for this power crisis. Similar power crisis had arisen in the year 2020, but the government did not learn any lesson from the incident," Das, the former chief minister, said. He also claimed that neither plans were made in advance nor power purchase pacts were done with Tata Power, DVC or other companies.
Soren admitted that the state is unable to meet the peak demand, but said his government has sanctioned additional funds for buying power from the open market through energy exchanges. "The heat is beyond imagination... several states in the country are facing shortage of power. It is also difficult to purchase power from the open market due to high rates and competition among states," the CM said.
However, the BJP had on Wednesday staged protests against the government's "complete failure" to meet electricity demand in Jharkhand, which is the major coal-producing state and provides fuel to several power plants in the country. Das also accused the Hemant Soren government of not taking steps for 800 MW power generation in the first phase as part of an agreement with energy producers during the erstwhile BJP regime to produce 4,000 MW by 2024.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project. Das also claimed that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had laid the foundation stone of North Karanpura power project of NTPC, which "remained stalled for 10 years". After assuming power in 2014, the BJP revived it but the project, even after completion, has not been commissioned due to a lack of the present state government's nod, Das claimed. Former chief minister Babulal Marandi too launched an attack on the state government, saying its wrong policies have resulted in the power crisis.
(With PTI inputs)