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MP power scam: Congress leader not to pay electricity bills till probe is ordered

BHOPAL: Congress leader of Opposition Ajay Singh has announced he will not pay his electricity bills till a high-level probe is ordered into the alleged Rs 50,000 crore power purchase scam. Ajay Singh has appealed to citizens to also follow his example and not pay power dues since the government is allegedly plundering the common man to reach benefits to private power producing companies. “If the power connection is snapped for non-payment of bills, I will live by candlelight,” Singh told reporters.

The Congress leader was reacting to the Aam Aadmi Party revelation that Shivraj Singh Chouhan government entered into an illegal understanding with six private power producing companies. The scam allegations were made by AAP on Sunday on basis of documents procured under RTI. AAP claimed that the state signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with the private companies promising a fixed charge of Rs 2163 crore for 1575 MW annually for 25 years irrespective of whether the government was going to purchase power from them or not.

On January 5, 2011 state signed the power purchase agreement with five power companies. Bureaucrats who signed the agreement were not even holding posts that authorised them to sign on behalf of the government.
Congress claims this is the biggest power scam in the country in which government has purchased power as expensive as Rs 84 per unit from the private players. “State requires 11,000 MW of power while government signed for 17,500 MW. Power tariff is highest in Madhya Pradesh because it is being purchased at a much higher rate from these private companies,” state Congress alleged.

This matter was also brought-up in the state assembly on Friday by BJP MLA from Mehgaon Mukesh Singh Chaturvedi who asked why the government was paying the private companies. In reply, energy minister Paras Jain said, “The state had only 4,500 MW of power and the requirement was for 11,000 MW. Then we signed the agreement with power companies. Now we have surplus power but we cannot go back on the agreement we made for 25 years.”

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