K'taka Govt to take stern action against power theft: Minister

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Bangalore, July 18 (UNI) The Karnataka Government will not spare anybody, including Legislators and Ministers, found guilty of power theft, Power Minister K S Eshwarappa told the Legislative Council today.

Replying to Janata Dal(United) member M Nadagouda's allegation during question hour in the Council, the Minister said the State Government had no information about any Minister or Legislator involved in power theft.

''The Government will not spare any individual if they are found guilty of power theft,'' he assured.

Earlier, Congress member V S Ugrappa sought to know from the Minister whether he would initiate punitive action against any cabinet member following reports that some of the Ministers were facing charges of power theft.

The Minister also informed the House that the State had over 17.21 lakh Irrigation Pumpsets and free power would be provided to those with up to 10 HP and electric metres.

''By announcing supply of free power in the budget, the BJP has kept its pre-election promise made to the farmers,'' he said.

Mr Eshwarappa clarified that the cost of installation of metres would have to be borne by the electricity supplying companies and farmers need not spend any money on it. The burden on the State exchequer due to the free power supply would be about Rs 875 crore per annum, he said.

The Minister said that due to deficit monsoon, all the sources of hydel power generation units in the State have almost dried up and the situation was getting serious.

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