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Feared power crisis: Sisodia accuses ‘mismanagement’ by the Centre

Sisodia drew a parallel between the feared power crisis due to an acute coal shortage today and the oxygen shortage during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in April-May this year when the Centre’s “indifferent” attitude led to many lives being lost.

Syed Hashim Najmi | New Delhi |

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday accused the Centre of being “irresponsible” on the coal stock situation has reached a critical stage, which may lead to a major power supply crisis in Delhi and other states. He blamed the Centre’s “mismanagement” on the coal supply front.

Addressing media persons, Sisodia drew a parallel between the feared power crisis due to an acute coal shortage today and the oxygen shortage during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in April-May this year when the Centre’s “indifferent” attitude led to many lives being lost.

The Centre’s behaviour was no different at that time from what it is now. “In April-May, when Delhi had an acute oxygen crisis, the Centre took the stand that there was no such crisis. We have seen what happened as a result of this. They are looking for alibis today. They are not able to run the government,” Sisodia alleged.

He quoted Union Power Minister RK Singh’s statement made earlier in the day during a press conference that “unnecessarily, panic has been created about the coal shortage. The situation will be handled in the next few days and sufficient power is available.”

Sisodia said the Centre’s “policy of indifference was worrying”. This could lead to many kinds of crises in the coming days. He appealed to the Centre to listen to what the states are saying and try to
understand the situation.

“Accept that there is a crisis of coal shortage. Take it seriously what the states are saying. Keeping your eyes closed is very painful.

There is a need for cooperative governance. Many power plants in states have been closed. Prevent the situation from taking a very serious turn’, Sisodia said.

Yesterday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Delhi could face a power crisis. I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it. In the meanwhile, I wrote a letter to Hon’ble PM seeking his personal intervention.”

Kejriwal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention “in the interest of consumers of Delhi and the power sector” so that coal and gas can be diverted to power generating plants in the national
capital.

Sisodia pointed out that, besides Delhi, many other states like Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have expressed fears of blackouts, and sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to end the
crisis.

“Yet the Union Power Minister, addressing a press conference today, dismissed the apprehension of a crisis and expressed the view that the Delhi Chief Minister should not have written the letter,” Sisodia added.