If the country doesn't achieve the target of adding 11,000 megawatt in new capacity this fiscal year, says newly sworn-in Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh, he would "hang his head in shame."
Ramesh made the comment after taking charge of one the most under-performing ministries in the UPA. Visibly disturbed with the performance of the Power Ministry since the eighth plan period, Ramesh said: “The task ahead is to reverse the trend of over-promise and under-achievement. The figures are shocking.”
“In the Eighth Plan the target for capacity addition was 31,000 MW and we achieved 16,000 MW, in the Ninth Plan we painted a rosier picture and the target set was 40,000 MW and we added just 19,000 MW and in the Tenth Plan the target was 41,000 MW and the capacity addition was mere 21,000 MW,” Ramesh said. Keen to reverse the trend he said, “Achieving 79,000 MW is the single biggest challenge in front of me.”
On a lighter vein, he added, “though all of this (trying to achieve the promised targets) comes with a caveat, I am an ATC that is not the Air Traffic Control but Additional Temporary Charge.” Ramesh said it is an uphill climb and he has set capacity addition targets for all the five years in the current Five-Year plan.
Of the planned target of 79,000MW about 51,000 MW will be added by the central sector utilities, while 36 per cent will be added by the state utilities and 13 percent will be added by the private sector, Ramesh said. He added that 51,000 MW of capacity addition is on the anvil as 145 large, small and medium sector power projects are under way in the country.
Regarding the under performance of power sector in India, Ramesh said, “there is need to liberate public sector public undertakings.” He also lamented that the top posts of many PSUs were not filled since months.
Regarding Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs), Ramesh said “I will be happy if we can add three more UMPPs this year.”