Chennai: Months after stoking a controversy by calling her “inaccessible”, a comment that drew sharp criticism from his own cabinet colleagues, Union power minister Piyush Goyal will be here on Friday to meet Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to discuss power sector-related issues.
Goyal is expected to revive the Centre’s invitation to Tamil Nadu to join Uday (Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana) scheme which he says would help the State government save at least Rs 22,400 crore over three years.
Goyal’s scheduled meeting with Jayalalithaa is politically significant since it comes in just a month after her high-stakes meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi regarding issues concerning the State.
During Friday’s meeting, Goyal is expected to allay Tamil Nadu government’s apprehensions in participating in Uday scheme and discuss power projects, including Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project for which the process of land acquisition had been completed.
The Tamil Nadu government is vehemently opposing Uday describing the clause that allows price increases every quarter as a harsh imposition on the poor and has refused to participate in the scheme.
In an informal interaction with journalists in New Delhi on Wednesday, Goyal said he would be travelling to Chennai on Friday for the meeting with Jayalalithaa.
“The major point of discussion would be the Cheyyur power plant. I will discuss other issues of mutual interest to the state and Central governments relating to power sector,” he said. The state government had been asking the Centre to soon finalise the bidding process for establishing the 4,000 MW Mega Power Project at Cheyyur since land acquisition is over.
On Jayalalithaa’s suggestion of transmitting renewable power of 1,000 MW from Tamil Nadu to other states, he said the power ministry has not taken any view yet on the issue.