Andhra and Sikkim pressure Naik ahead of elections

Vol 8, PW 1 (07 Apr 04) News in Brief

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has written yet another letter to oil minister Ram Naik drawing his attention to the, critical phase in power supply due to total lack of hydel power this year.

Naidu says electricity demand has gone up to 150m units per day, but gas supplies from GAIL, is not even up to the firm allocation of 5.12m cm/d while the total requirement is 6.27m cm/d. Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling is angry at Indian Oils decision to abruptly withdraw support to the states programme to distribute free LPG connections to the rural poor, to wean away households from hacking down trees for firewood.

The scheme has become popular in the state but Indian Oil has abruptly curtailed supply of LPG cylinders putting the state government in a most embarrassing situation, writes Chamling. Both Naidu and Chamling want Naik to personally intervene and bail them out.