Tamil Nadu: In the land of the freebies, sadly power is never a poll promise

For a state grappling with power deficit, daily power cuts would mean that mixies, grinders, TVs and table fans cannot run on poll promises.

Written by Leela Prasad | Delhi | Updated: June 2, 2015 4:05 pm
Tamil Nadu, AIADMK, DMK, Jayalalithaa, Jayalalithaa AIADMK, AIADMK laptops, tamil nadu laptops, tamil nadu mixies grinders, tamil nadu news, india news For a state grappling with power deficit, daily power cuts would mean that mixies, grinders, TVs and table fans cannot run on poll promises.

With political parties aiming to outdo each other by showering sops on voters all the time, Tamil Nadu might well be the ultimate freebie state.

While giving sops and doles to voters has been the in thing in this southern state for decades, things started going a bit overboard a couple of decades back.

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The DMK opened the gates of this freebie culture in 2006 after the state Assembly elections by distributing colour television sets as per its poll promise, and the AIADMK in 2012 went a step further by giving away laptops, mixies, grinders and table fans.

DMK spent over Rs 3,340 crore on 1,52,80,000 14-inch TV sets with each costing an average of Rs 2,456. They were distributed in five phases between 2006-10. AIADMK spent Rs 1,200 crore in 2012-13 on procuring 7,84,000 laptops for students and is expected to spend Rs 10,200 crore in the next five years.

On mixies, grinders and table fans, Rs 2,000 crore was spent by the ruling AIADMK. 3.5 million beneficiaries were recipients of this scheme. In 2014-15, Rs 1,250 crore was spent on the same once again.

For a state grappling with power deficit, daily power cuts would mean that mixies, grinders, TVs and table fans cannot run on poll promises. According to the state’s Twelve Year Plan published in 2012, Tamil Nadu is facing a severe power shortage of close to 1,500 MW. The 2013-14 figures of the state’s consumption and unrestricted requirement also show signs of a widening gap.  The actual consumption is 87,987 million units as opposed to a requirement of 93,509 million units. An annual report (2013-14) by the Subregional Power Committee shows that Tamil Nadu experiences its highest deficit at the onset of summer. The state fell short of 1,431 MU i.e 17.45% during the month of April, 2013 and 752 MU i.e 10.65% in November, 2013; the same year the Jayalalithaa government started implementing their poll promises.

The growth rate of installed generating capacity of electricity in Tamil Nadu hasn’t been spectacular in meeting the state’s demands either. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation notes that Tamil Nadu had registered a growth rate of 10.52 GW between 2011-13 at a time when states facing similar demands like Rajasthan (24.04 GW) and Madhya Pradesh (26.08 GW) have registered higher growth rates.

Due to long power disruptions in the state, beneficiaries of the state’s social welfare programmes have resorted to selling their ‘poll gifts’ to dealers in second-hand goods.

With the state’s total debt expected to touch Rs 211,483 crore in 2015-16, an outlay of Rs 18,777 crore on various social welfare programmes seems like an extravagance. Funds, perhaps, could be directed towards making the state energy sufficient.

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  1. A
    Jun 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm
    To Editor ,IE: Sir, please check whether articles written some commissioned writers really quote latest figures and facts. Somehow, above article seems to have been written only with intention to malign concerned people at any cost . Why did writer not take trouble to get figures from TNEB, or, TNERA that regulate all elect. related issues? "For the kind info. of all your readers ( since your corespondents write with per-determined goal, to tarnish TN as a w) let me state from TN Govt. press release that states, 'from 5th June 2015, TN Govt, under Jaya, has declared total removal of 'all' restrictions &all HT consumers, farmers etc will start getting 24 hours power supply"- Let your corespondent check it up. ( Sadly, I am your unpaid correspondent?) . I don;t know why IE should get so low into bashing TN an its people? Did Jaya comit anything to derail you any time in the past- hence the grudge? Pl. Sir, verify and then, publish. The wind-gern season is in full flow and TN gets around extra 2500 to 3000 MW! THANKS!
    1. R
      Jun 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm
      The Jayalalitha govt gave away free laptops, but cheated the two MNCs from who it was procured. Both companies are yet to get the dues, which are in crores and may never get it. Jaya govt told them to take a walk.
      1. N
        Jun 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm
        Tamil Nadu started declining in quality (in terms of academics and work) since 1967 when DMK took over the reins of the state. The state became a fully corrupt state ever since DMK took over from Congress. Two language policy, not addressing the power problem, infrastructure development, industrial growth all went for a toss as DMK and AIDMK went on freebies race. Culture of so called dravidians invented by DMK are the root cause for tamil nadu's decline in all sphere. DMK and AIDMK should be routed out of Tamil Nadu if the state has to salvaged from these corrupt politicians
        1. Devisahai Meena
          Jun 2, 2015 at 9:15 pm
          And Madhyapradesh and Rajasthan outdone TN in granting pension to MISA detainees (Mainly BJP workers/caders) at par Defence retired personnel. ( 12000 to 15000 INR per month).
            Jun 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm
            Freebies have made people lazy and lethargic, which will make them highly pronto diseases like diabetes, obesity driven heart ailments and reduce their life span or make them depend on medicines which once again will lead to heavy side effects and this will go on and on, therefore nothing should be given free to any body.
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