The Left government had colluded with the BJP-led Union government for the "corrupt deal", Chennithala alleged.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala speaking at an eventFB / Ramesh Chennithala
news Controversy Friday, April 02, 2021 - 17:31

With just four days remaining for the Assembly polls in Kerala, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has levelled yet another allegation against the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government. On Friday, Chennithala accused the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) of purchasing power from the Adani group at an exorbitant rate. He referred to a 25-year agreement signed in 2019 by the KSEB with the Union government’s public sector undertaking, Solar Energy Corporation Limited (SECL), alleging that it allowed the state to buy 300 MW of power from Adani at a higher price.

As per the Renewal Purchase Obligation (RPO) of the SECL, Kerala was supposed to buy 5% electricity, he said. “There are various sources of energy under this, including solar energy, hydel and tidal energy, yet Kerala opted for wind energy, which is a bastion of the Adani group,” Chennithala alleged. He further added that the Left government had colluded with the BJP-led Union government for the "corrupt deal," alleging that as per the agreement, Kerala needs to purchase Rs 8,850 crore-worth power for 25 years from the Adani group.

Chennithala also alleged that the corporate major could make a profit of over Rs 1,000 crore through this. “At present, solar power is available at Rs 2. Then why was a pact signed with the private group to buy power at the rate of Rs 2.82 per unit,” Chennithala asked. “Thus, the common man has to pay Re 1 extra for each unit for 25 years. This will help Adani reap a profit of Rs 1,000 crore," he told reporters in Alappuzha.

He also added that through the contract, a huge burden is imposed on the people. “Both the state and Union governments are equally responsible for the deal," Chennithala said.

Meanwhile, calling the allegations baseless, the KSEB said that the agreement is between them and the Union government, and that the state government has no role in it. The KSEB, a public sector undertaking under the Kerala government, has stated that it was the SECL that carried out the tender procedures, based on which it informed the KSEB in 2020 that it will be given electricity from Adani Wind Energy (75ME), Spring Wind Energy (100MW) and Senatris Wind Energy (125 MW). Of this, the KSEB said, it has been receiving 25 MW from Adani since March 2021. It added that this cost is comparatively low, as compared to other avenues.

As per the two agreements signed in 2019, it only costs a maximum of Rs 2.83 and Rs 2.80 per unit for electricity through wind energy. "These are the cheapest rates in the contracts that KSEB has signed in the past 10 years," it said.

Rejecting the Opposition Leader’s allegations, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in Kannur that Chennithala was "jealous" of the five years under the LDF government when there had been no load-shedding. "That is why he is now trying to tarnish the deals of the state Electricity Board," the Chief Minister added.

Read: The ‘love jihad’ bogey is part of BJP’s long-term strategy in Kerala

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