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Instead of earmarking VIP zones, the state government has considered rural areas as key places for ensuring power supply, Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma said today. “Unlike the previous government, which considered some areas as VIP zones for ensuring power supply, our government considers farmers and poor as VIP and gives 18 hours electricity in rural areas, 20 hours at tehsil level and 24 hours at district headquarters,” he said during the Question Hour in the Assembly.
He was replying to a question raised by SP member Nitin Agarwal. Trying to drive home the point that power supply has improved in BJP regime, Sharma said, “In the past two months, average power supply in rural areas is 17.29 hours as compared to 13.29 hours in corresponding periods last year, while at district headquarters the average power supply in past two months was 23.05 hours as compared to 20.29 hours in the corresponding period last year.”
The minister said the power demand is 17,810 MW and availability is 18,000 MW and the state government also purchases power as and when needed. The House witnessed some lighter moments when, dissatisfied with the reply, SP member Mohd Azam Khan said, “We did the same mistake (of replying in a round about manner) and we are here (in the opposition). You (BJP) should learn and take a lesson from this.”
When Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna rose to respond, Khan said, “Khanna never held the energy department in the past and he never asked questions pertaining to the department. From where has he got his ‘urja’ (energy) now?” Khanna was quick to reply to Azam saying he got this ‘urja’ from mistakes of SP. Later, SP members staged a walkout saying they did not get a proper answer.