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Doubtful Data on Power

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 March 2016 12:00 AM GMT

On February 28, 2016, Tarun Gogoi’s government published an Assamese advertisement in a local English daily that had to do with the Chief Minister receiving an award for excellence in power generation given by The Economic Times along with three other States of the country. The advertisement shows Tarun Gogoi receiving the award from Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, One is very much within one’s rights to question how reliable the data was on which The Economic Times award was based. One cannot run away from the fact that there has to be a close relationship between the number of units of electricity generated and the installed capacity (in megawatts) of the entity claiming to have generated a certain quantum of electricity. In the year 2001, when the Tarun Gogoi government came to power, the installed capacity of the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) was just 514 MW. During the years following, there was a decline in the installed capacity of the ASEB and it hovered around 100 MW for some time. The 100 MW Karbi-Langpi project pushed the installed capacity up to around 200 MW and it remained there quite some time. So how can the Tarun Gogoi government claim that the power generation of the State in 2015 had gone up to 1,895 million units from 935 million units in 2001 (more than double)? And if the advertisement reflects a true situation of the power generation in the State (it does not), how is it that in 2015, the number of domestic increased to 33 lakh in 2015 (from just 7.69 lakh in 2001) while the commercial consumers increased to only 6.46 lakh in 2015 from a mere 1.39 lakh in 2001? The advertisement talks about power generated—not power bought from elsewhere.

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