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Power capacity addition target set to fall short

Successive governments have failed to meet capacity addition targets since the past three plan periods leaving the country with acute power shortage, reports Samiran Saha.

business Updated: Apr 25, 2008 00:17 IST
Samiran Saha

The summer heat is on, but India’s power availability situation is failing to sizzle.

For yet another month, power generation is set to fall short, officials acknowledged, raising concerns about further widening of the gap between required power levels and available energy supply.

The government had set a 310 mega watt capacity addition target for April, but there will be shortfall of 59 mega watts because of delay in the first phase of a gas-based power plant in Tamil Nadu, said a Power Ministry official, who didn't want to be identified. The plant, he said, would not be commissioned before May 4, almost ten days after the original schedule of April 26.

In April, 250 MW was added in new capacity when the first unit of NTPC-SAIL joint venture at Bhilai was commissioned.

The government has a target of adding 335 MW of power for the month of May and is now saddled with a backlog of 59.8 MW more that it needs to add as TNSEB’s failed to meet the target that it had committed for April.

The Power Ministry official said the target for May is being monitored closely in order to ensure there is no backlog in capacity addition.

Successive governments have failed to meet capacity addition targets since the past three plan periods leaving the country with acute power shortage.

The government intends to add nearly 12,000 megawatt in 2008-09 and over 78,000 MW in the 11th Plan period (2007-2012).

Energy sector experts opine that at best government will be able to add about 60,000 MW only.

From the 8th to the 10th Plan (in 15 years or three plan periods) government added a mere 56,722 MW or 50 per cent of the planned capacity addition. In the next five years it is looking to achieve far more than what it has not been able to do in the last decade and a half.