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Opposition in Odisha Claims ‘Rampant Corruption’ in Power Sector

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress on Monday slammed the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha alleging massive scam in the power distribution sector of the state.

A delegation of the BJP met Governor Ganeshi Lal and submitted a memorandum seeking probe by a central agency into the alleged Rs 15,000 crore scam in the power sector during the last one decade.

“While the state government claims that Rs 20,000 crore was spent in development of power distribution system in the state, Tata Power says infrastructure worth Rs 5,000 crore is available on the ground,” said BJP spokesperson Dilip Mohanty.

Calling it the biggest scam of the decade, Mohanty demanded that all the ministers, who were in charge of the Energy Department during the past 10 years, should be brought under investigation.

“The BJD government is claiming that Odisha is a power surplus state, so why are the people facing frequent power cuts during peak summer season,” the BJP leader asked.

Meanwhile, raising slogans against the state government and Tata Power pver power outage in the state, Congress workers and leaders staged a protest at the GRIDCO office in Bhubaneswar.

The protesters tried to barge into the GRIDCO office by breaking the barricades, but they were stopped by the police. The agigators also threw tomatoes at the GRIDCO building.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Sarat Pattanayak alleged that the state government is exploiting the people with high power tariff and frequent disruptions in electricity supply.

He alleged that Rs 20,000 crore was allotted by the Centre and state for power infrastructure development in Odisha. However, only Rs 5,000 crore was given to Tata Power and no one knows where did the remaining Rs 15,000 crore go, Pattanayak alleged.

“Had the government completed the underground power distribution project, the state would not have faced power failure,” he said.

Demanding that electricity bills be issued to the consumers as per a fixed timeline, Pattanayak also appealed to the people not to pay pending electricity bills till the situation improves.

Meanwhile, BJD MLA Rajkishore Das said the state government has given the responsibilities of power distribution to Tata Power so that it can carry out developmental works.

“If the company doesn’t perform, it can be released of the responsibility,” he said.

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