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Chhattisgarh to move court on central quota power

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Raipur, Feb 23 (UNI) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said the state government would move the court against the Centre's decision to reduce 288 MW of power from the state's quota and for securing share of power from the hydel power projects, which was funded by the then government of undivided Madhya Pradesh.

Replying to a debate in the assembly on power crisis in the state, he said the main reason for shortage of power was the Centre's decision to cut down supply of 350 MW, which included power from the state's quota from central pool.

Pointing out that the present crisis was not because of shortage in power production, the Mr Singh said it was due to increase in demand over the years since the formation of the state in November 2000.

''The demand at the time of state's formation was 900 MW to 1200 MW. Now it has increased to 1800 MW to 2100 MW,'' he said, adding that production capacity of power plants within the state has increased from 65 per cent to 79 per cent.

Dr Singh said the state government was making efforts to purchase power from other states in a bid to tide over the crisis.

''The problem could be solved to some extent if the Centre agrees to release the state's share of power from the central pool,'' he said, adding that the matter had already been brought to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Energy Ministery.

The Chief Minister said Chhattisgarh did not get the share of power from those hydel power projects for which undivided Madhya Pradesh had made investments.

The problem of power shortage turned worse during the last fortnight following technical snag in two 500 MW power plants of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), he said adding that NTPC has been asked to attend to the problem as soon as possible.

Despite shortage, Mr Singh said, Chhattisgarh was the only state which ensures supply if power for 21.5 hours in a day, while in many states power cut was for more than ten hours.

Throwing light on the steps being taken to boost power production, Mr Singh said steps have been taken to set up a number of power plants in the state.

The first power plant would go into production by 2007 and the remaining power plants would be operational in the coming years.

''In the next five years, the state will have at least 10,000 MW of additional power,'' he added.

Earlier participating in the debate, Opposition Congress members alleged that even agriculture sector was not getting uninterrupted power supply because of power cuts.

UNI SM-JJ MA RAI2153

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