Hyderabad: During the ongoing parliament session on Tuesday Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao opposed the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill 2020,
Saying thar the Bill would put the lives of farmers in the State at peril just when they were recovering from decades of neglect and severe power shortage. “The Bill in its present form is dangerous. The Centre has sent us a draft and I have discussed the provisions of the Bill and wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to withdraw the proposal. As I understand, the Centre will go ahead and introduce the Bill in the present Parliament session itself,” he said.
Urging the Centre to withdraw the Draconian Bill which “is against the federal spirit envisaged by the Constitution,” and is aimed at usurping powers of the States, the Chief Minister said the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act of 2003 was drafted in a way that was detrimental to the interests of farmers. “Through this resolution, the Telangana Assembly demands the Centre not to impose the Act on the people of the nation and immediately withdraw the proposed Bill,” Chief Minister said.
Stating that both the Congress and BJP led governments at the Centre had centralised power which was against the spirit of the Constitution, he said the Prime Minister was further centralising powers instead of strengthening the States. “In a nutshell, if there is trouble in electricity supply here in Hyderabad, I need to call the Load Dispatch Centre in New Delhi rather than calling the State Load Dispatch Centre,” he said, explaining the adverse impact of the proposed Bill.
Speaking on the issue of the impact of the Bill on the agrarian sector in the State, he said that over 26 lakh farmers in the State have dug borewells at a cost of Rs 45,000 crore. Under the flood flow canal alone, there are 10,000 farmers pumping water and cultivating land. “We are allowing them to do so as there is no crime committed in irrigating the crop. Now if the Centre wants us to take readings of their usage, we need poles, transmission lines and meters. It was calculated that Rs 7,000 crore will be required to fix meters. Then we need bill collectors to collect the bills, and pay them salaries,” the Chief Minister said, explaining the adverse impact on a State like Telangana that gives 24 hour free power to farmers.
HE also said that Prime Minister is not listening to his opposition. He said, “I wrote to the Prime Minister two months ago pointing out that this Bill will kill our farmers. But he is not listening. States like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Delhi have come forward to join hands with us in opposing the Bill. Our MPs will fight against the bill in Parliament.”