Mauvin powerless, but not his power policy

| 27 November 1998 23:46 IST

The newly sworn in Congress government has not inducted former power minister Mauvin Godinho into Luizinho Faleiro's cabinet, thanks to the power rebate scandal and deterioration of power situation in the state during his tenure.

However, reversing the outgoing coalition government's decision of scrapping the power policies, made by the erstwhile Congress government, seems to be the prime task on Faleiro's agenda, indicating that men may change but policies won't.

"I will maintain the power policies set by my party leaders during its initial rule of three and a half years", says Faleiro.

It included the open sky policy, allowing any private party to generate and sell power without bringing the government into picture and also transmission and distribution privatisation.

"They have come to power on power policy", quips outgoing chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza, linking it to the earlier allegation that two mining houses, along with the Reliance Industries, have played major role in dislodging his government.

While de Souza maintained the policy of privatisation of power generation, including the one set up by the Reliance Salgaoncar Pvt Ltd, he scrapped both the policies in which the RSPL was interested in, including reportedly taking over the whole transmission and distribution set-up.

"The Congress had deliberately created artificial shortage of power in the state, in order to create a situation of more demand and less supply and woo the power generating private firms", alleges Sadanand Malik, who scrapped the Congress policy after deeply studying the issue.

Besides raiding and catching red-handed the power theft in the power guzzling units, which were invited by the Congress, Malik also established a fact that Goa does not need private power generation immediately, if around Rs 20 crore were spent on creating infrastructure to wheel in the surplus power with the NTPC, allotted for Goa.

The electricity demand has also been making profits after the power rebate scandal was exposed and the subsidies power schemes for industries were discontinued. Realising this, Malik had immediately scrapped the policy of handing over T & D to a private firm and had proposed corporatisation of the electricity department, under government control.

The power situation in the state is still in doldrums as the high court ban on allowing new industries due to acute power shortage is still not lifted. While the coalition government had planned additional power allocation by year end, the ban may continue if Congress reverses its policies.

Local BJP leader Manohar Parrikar, who had exposed selfish motives behind both the power policies of the Congress government, has announced that his party would oppose reversal of the power policy tooth and nail since it is ill-conceived.

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