Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Andhra PradeshCentre wants to privatise Coal India: Prof. Nageshwar

Centre wants to privatise Coal India: Prof. Nageshwar

Published: 16th Oct 2021 7:08 pm

Visakhapatnam: Noted political analyst Prof. K. Nageshwar has alleged that the Central Government, keen on privatising Coal India, was not allocating coal blocks to it. Participating in a seminar on `Coal shortage-Power crisis’ organised under the aegis of Communist Party of India (Marxist) through virtual mode here on Saturday, he said non-allocation of captive mines to Visakhapatnam steel plant, and denying coal blocks to Coal India was part of the Centre’s plot to privatise these organisations. He also wondered why India, which was in fourth place in the world with huge coal deposits, should face the coal crisis.

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On the power shortage, Prof. Nageshwar said against a capacity of 3.9 lakh mega watts, only 1.7 lakh MW of power was being generated in the country at present. Instead of expanding Coal India, there were attempts to throttle it, he stated and added that private companies were also not keeping adequate stocks of coal. The consumer would now be forced to pay power generation costs in accordance with the Central power Act, he feared.

Former Energy Secretary EAS Sarma blamed the short-sightedness of the Centre for the present coal crisis. While the private power generation companies were encouraged, the AP GEN’s efficiency was brought down, he noted. Also, the private companies which got several concessions, were not allotting power to the state in violation of the agreements.

It was a pity that they were not penalised by the state government for selling power to other states instead of Andhra Pradesh, he remarked. CPM State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao said that the Centre was cheating the people by saying that the coal production had come down due to rains. The Tatas and Adanis had stopped power generation at the plants in a bid to hike the power charges and the artificial coal shortage was created only to benefit the private players, he alleged. He also accused the state government of keeping silent while the Ambanis violated the agreement and were supplying gas to other states instead of AP. Once the coal mines were handed over to private companies, the power tariff was bound to be hiked, he said.

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