With long hours of power cuts returning to haunt the state, energy crisis is expected to play a key role in swinging votes down South during this Lok Sabha election. But, is there a proposed solution at hand in the election manifestos?
The incumbent Congress intends to put in place a Special Purpose Vehicle which will be responsible for judicious allocation of resources across states on the basis of usage.
Besides taking steps to implement the National Mission on Energy Efficieny in all areas of economy including rural housing, the Congress also vows to increase access to electricity from the present 67.3% to 90% in rural areas and guarantee 100% power to urban regions.
The party will also give a new thrust to new and renewable energy sources like hydel power, solar power through accelerating the implementation of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and also launch a ‘National Wind Energy Mission. Congress will also focus on nuclear energy in a big way, the party manifesto states.
The BJP, while envisioning a National Energy Policy to ensure uniform distribution of energy, clearly emphasizes that nuclear power generation is the way to go forward and that it will play an important role in meeting power demands. In the party’s manifesto, BJP vows to come out with a responsible ‘National Energy Policy’ and strengthen the ‘National Solar Mission’.
The saffron party will also take steps to maximize the potential of oil, gas, hydel power, ocean, wind, coal and nuclear sources. “BJP considers energy efficiency and conservation crucial to energy security. Set up small-hydro power generation projects to harness the hydropower that is not being used at the moment. Small projects can be set up with local support and without displacement of the local population,” the manifesto states.
Among the regional parties, both the AIADMK and the DMK consider transmission grid problems as the main cause for power crisis in the state and have included the objective of solving the problem in their manifestos.
“As the New Power Transmission Corridors have not been established and existing corridors yet to be strengthened, many difficulties have been experienced in transmitting power from surplus states to deficit states. Hence, AIADMK will take steps to establish new power corridors and strengthening the existing corridors so as to enable the transmission of power from the surplus states to deficit states,” AIADMK manifesto states.
Referring to the present power distribution tussle from Koodankulam plant, the DMK vows to prevail upon the centre for distributing power generated in states through central power projects for the sole use of respective states. DMK will also push for creating grids linking all states in India so as to easily transmit excess power in one state to another power deficit state.