New Delhi: Even though people of Uttar Pradesh are reeling under acute power crisis, the Centre and state government are involved in a tug-of-war over the allotment of coal in the power plants.

UP Chief Minister Mayawati is leaving no stone unturned in her efforts to blame the Union Government for ignoring the coal needs of the state. Whereas, the Union Government has tried to wash off its hand from the issue by claiming that no proposal in this regard is pending.

UP Government in a presentation to Central Planning Commission accepted the acute power shortage in the state and emphasized that it should be given priority in coal allotment to help in setting up new power plants. In an assessment, UP government claimed that 7.4 crore tonnes coal would be needed for private and government power projects proposed under 12th five year plan.

The state government claimed, if provided required support it would be independent in the matter of power generation and supply by 2017.

Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal rejected all the allegations and said, “No proposal of UP government for coal allotment for 11th five year plan has been pending before the Union Government and 12th five plan has not started yet so there is no question for coal allotment.”

He added, “For getting coal allotment, a state government has to lay the foundation of a power plant and forward a proposal to the Union Energy minister, thereafter the Centre decides about allocating the required quantity of coal to the concerned state.” Jaiswal did not fail to mention that signing an Memorandum of Understanding for opening a power plant by the state government was not a confirmation of getting coal from the Centre.

Taking a swipe at the CM he said, “Mayawati should answer that how much coal has been retrieved from the two coal blocks which were allotted to the state by the Union Government? State government’s sincerity can be easily assessed as the state has not provided land and water for two power plant units of NTPC in Bilhaur (Kanpur) and one project of Neyveli Lignite Corporation in Ghatampur.”

JPN/Bureau