The central government on Tuesday quoted data collected by an NGO and cited media reports tocounter the contention of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadavabout 24-hour availability of power in Varanasi, the Lok Sabhaconstituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Amid a war of words between Modi and Akhilesh over supplyof electricity in UP where polls are underway, the centralgovernment said it had created an URJA App to provide urbanpower data for the consumers but the state government hadstopped giving data in it.
Modi on Sunday alleged discimination in power supply inthe state on the basis of religion. In his counter, Akhileshyesterday asked Modi to swear by 'Ganga Maiyya' (mother Ganga)if his constituency Varanasi had not been getting 24-hourpower supply.
"The UP government was providing data in it till August2016 but due to very bad ranking particularly in power cuts(in terms of times and duration), the state government hasstopped giving data," it said in a statement.
"As per the data provided in August 2016, UP had morethan 2 times the number of power cuts and 7 times the hours ofpower cuts as compared to (rest of) India," the Centre said.
It added that, "If Varanasi is getting 24-hour power,then why is UP government trying to hide power supply datafrom the world? Independent third party shows poor powersupply position in Varanasi."
Citing some media reports, the Centre said parts ofVaranasi suffer long power cuts, including on last Sunday whenthe Prime Minister said there should be no discrimination insupply of electricity.
It also quoted the statistics prepared by NGO 'Prayas'which collects power supply data from specific towns acrossthe country.
"As per the data collected by them (Prayas), in fourparts of Varanasi (Sundarpur, Pandeypur, Sarang Talab andShivpur), in Shivpur (in Varanasi District), the situation isvery bad where the area has been experiencing almost 8-10hours of power cuts per day for the last 3 months.
"Situation in other areas in Varanasi like Sundarpur,Pandeypur and Sarang Talab is also poor and have beenexperiencing power cuts of 1-2 hours per day," it added.
Citing a reporty by 'Prayas', the Union government said,"UP is the only state which has not signed 'Power for all'document. All other states in the country have signed the'Power for all' document which creates a roadmap for providingpower to all consumers in the states."
The statement added that, "Despite, repeated follow ups,UP has not shown interest in providing power for all of itscitizens. Despite 5 letters to UP Government in 13 months, thedocument was not signed.
"Also, 7 meetings and video conferencing notices wereissued on this subject to UP, but the UP government has notshown any initiative to sign this document."
The statement said, "1.6 of 3 crore rural households inUP don?t have electricity connections, but the presentgovernment is not interested in resolving electricity crisis."
Alleging discrimination on religious grounds inimplementation of the DDUGJY (Deen Dayal Ujwal Gram JyotiYojana) Scheme, the Centre said the Samajwadi Party governmenthad "selective focus" on "few areas". It claimed that "large scale discrimination on the basisof religion has been unearthed in Moradabad".