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Today in a conference of the state's Energy Ministers in Delhi, Gujarat Minister of State for Energy Mr. Saurabh Patel sternly criticized the Center's unjust treatment towards Gujarat.

Giving accounts of various unjust moves of the Central government Mr. Patel said the Center is not giving necessary gas to Gujarat for the power production and instead the gas is given to the private companies, which is making it compulsory for Gujarat to import gas on a high rate of 14 $ per mmbtu. This has resulted into a higher cost of gas-based power production in Gujarat amounting to Rs.6 per unit.

Mr.Patel elaborated on how Gujarat government has split up its loss-making electricity board into four divisions and transformed it into Rs.550-crore profit-making company. Even the Power Finance Corporation, who surveyed about 40 power supplying companies of the nation, has acknowledged the financial soundness of the power distribution network of Gujarat but, the Minister said, Center is somehow hurdling the progress of the power sector of Gujarat.

Minister of State said that Gujarat has initiated harnessing the solar, thermal, hydro, gas and nuclear energies in power production for the first time and is topping in the country in power production and distribution. Gujarat government's initiative can also serve as a model for other states. Since the Center is unjust in providing gas to Gujarat, the state would not been able to use the full capacity of Pipawav's 700-MW and GSEG's 350-MW gas-based power plants, he said.

A and B grade coal prices have jumped by 240% due to the inability of the present Central government, which has never happed in the past after independence. This has adversely affected the coal-based power production, Mr.Patel said.

Coal is provided to Gujarat from the far states and higher transportation cost is translating into a higher cost of coal-based power production. Despite of several representations made by Gujarat Chief Minister Mr.Narendra Modi, the Center has never responded positively.

Gujarat is even in a position to provide power to other states but it is only possible if the Center sets up an Inter Regional Transmission Corridor Network, said Mr.Patel asking the Central government to complete the setting up of the network at earliest.

Principal Secretary for Energy Mr.D.J.Pandiyan and top officials were present at the conference.

Gujarat Information Bureau

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