As the scheduled power cuts in Rajasthan have become a daily trend, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday termed power shortage as a national crisis and accused the Central government of failing to supply adequate coal to states to generate sufficient electricity.
The state BJP, however, hit back and said the Chief Minister and his government were presenting contradictory facts on coal supply.
State BJP president Satish Poonia tweeted a DIPR letter dated April 24 on Friday, which read that ‘there was no shortage of coal in Rajasthan’. He said, “There are contradictory statements coming in from the Department of Information and Public Relations and you on coal supply.”
Earlier in the day, Gehlot said, “The demand for electricity has surged in 16 states due to rising mercury; however, coal is not being supplied accordingly, due to which power supply is not possible as per requirement. This is a national crisis. I appeal to everyone to unite in this crisis and support the government in improving the situation. Turn off non-essential electrical appliances in your home or workplace,” he further appealed to the masses.
Gehlot also hit upon the BJP for protesting against the power cuts and said, “In Rajasthan, the state BJP is working to put pressure on the electricity department workers by harassing them via protesting at the power houses. I would like to ask them that isn’t it the job of the Central Government to provide coal to states. Will the directionless leadership of the state BJP question the central government as to why it is not able to provide coal as per the demand, due to which there has been a power cut in 16 states, he further questioned.
Meanwhile, Poonia said, “The shortage of coal is often talked about, but in the letter of DIPR of the Government of Rajasthan dated April 24, it has been clarified that ‘there is no shortage of coal in Rajasthan and the state will supply uninterrupted power,’ and hence this letter exposes the contradiction of Chief Minister’s words and deeds,” said Poonia.
Rajasthan is reeling under severe power crisis and 1 to 6 hour power cut has become a regular affair. There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of electricity and, hence, the power cuts are being done for one hour at all divisional headquarters, including the capital, two hours in districts, three hours in towns and up to 6 hours in the rural areas.