UNDERGROUND CABLING TO BE TENDERED ACROSS GOA WITHIN NEXT 14 MONTHS: CABRAL

PANAJI: Power Minister Nilesh Cabral on Wednesday said that the State government will soon create a separate account for Electricity Duty and tender work of underground cabling in 40 constituencies in a bid to provide better infrastructure and regular power supply within next 14 months.

Cabral stated this during a debate on electricity model of Goa and Delhi held at Panaji. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Valmiki Naik presented Kejriwal model of electricity. The debate was open for media persons.

To a question, Cabral said the government will resolve Electricity Duty issue soon. Goa government collects Rs 200-Rs 300 crore Electricity Duty, which goes into consolidated fund.

“We want Electricity Duty to be deposited in a separate account. If Goa government creates a separate fund for Electricity Duty then the REC (Rural Electrification Corporation) will give us loans to develop power infrastructure in rural areas of Goa. We are working on it and I assure you will do it within a month,” said Cabral.

Valmiki said cheap and reliable power is a right of every common man and it is the government’s responsibility. Delhi government provide zero electricity bill to those consuming upto 200 units and 50 per cent rebate to those who consumer between 200 and 400 units. This is historic, he claimed.

Valmiki ridiculed Cabral’s claim to provide adequate infrastructure and to tender work of underground cabling in all 40 constituencies within next 14 months. He said BJP is in power in Goa for last nine years and could not do anything in power sector. The Minister is now talking of doing it in his remainder term of nine months, he quipped.

Valmiki pointed out in the budget the Goa government had made a provision of Rs 400 crore for operation and maintenance cost and only Rs 60 crore were earmarked for infrastructure. What infrastructure the Electricity Department can undertake with Rs 60 crore provision across Goa? he asked.

Valmiki alleged that Goa Electricity Department cannot make profit because there is complete inefficiency and corruption. Transmission and Distribution losses of power in Goa is also highest in the country, he said.

The Power Minister said low tension domestic consumption of electricity in Goa less than 400 units are  21 per cent, less than 200 units is 38 per cent and those consuming above 400 units is 40 per cent.

Cabral said in Delhi, electricity bill is generated and paid by the Delhi government. He showed a bill of a consumer from Delhi consuming less than 200 units but where bill is generated and paid by the Delhi government.

Cabral further said that in Delhi, Kejriwal government has outsourced electricity into profit making. Goa has not outsourced electricity. We provide cheap electricity for people of Goa, the Minister claimed.

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