The woes of power-starved Andhra Pradesh have been further compounded with the Centre's order that two million metric standard cubic meters per day of gas be diverted from the Krishna-Godavari Basin to the Ratnagiri power plant in Maharashtra.
Already starved of gas for its power plants that have been working with a plant load factor of only 30 per cent, the state will now get only 1.48 MMSCMD of gas from Reliance's D6 wells as two MMSCMD will be diverted to Ratnagiri following the Centre's order that came into effect on August 1.
An SOS by the state fell on deaf ears as Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S Jaipal Reddy refused to intervene and instead suggested that the state should approach the Prime Minister.
Due to the cut in gas supply, power generation from gas-based plants will go further down by 400 MW and push the state into more darkness.
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was in Bengaluru last evening, spoke to Jaipal Reddy, camping in Hyderabad, over phone and also sent a delegation led by state Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao seeking withdrawal of the Centre's order diverting gas to Ratnagiri.
The Chief Minister also dashed off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Power Minister Veerappa Moily in this regard, sources in the CMO revealed yesterday night.
But the Centre appeared in no mood to concede Andhra Pradesh's demand as Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had his way, when he was holding the power portfolio and got gas diverted to Ratnagiri. Now, this could spell more trouble for Kiran Reddy as well as the Congress in Andhra.
Jaipal Reddy, already under fire from all parties including Congress for failing to protect the state's interests over gas allocation, is likely to face more heat due to the latest controversy.