Facing Opposition ire for electricity shortages during the summer months, government on Monday said the private sector is likely to chip in with 9000 MW in the next two years.
Replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on functioning of his ministry, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the contribution of private sector in additional generation has gone up from 4 per cent to 18 per cent since 1999.
Seven more ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) would come up besides the five originally planned. He said the government is going in for bidding for UMPP after full preparations. Two of these projects have already begun generation.
Shinde said the capacity target in the 11th plan is three times more than what it was in the 10th plan.
Addressing concerns of the members on projects in Arunachal Pradesh, he said, "We have given several hydro electric projects to the state....From Tawang till all the areas downwards".
He said the government has improved the monitoring system.
Shinde said the Below Poverty Line families would be provided free power within five km radius of the projects.
He said his ministry aims at synchronising the power grids of South India from North Indian grids in 18 months.
Referring to the controversies over the Loharinag hydro electric power project over the Ganges in Uttarakhand, he said that agitations are blocking the project.
He said it is UPA government's policy "not to play with emotions" indicating that the ministry may not be taking up any new projects on the Ganga.
Earlier, describing power situation in the country as grave, members demanded increase in electricity generation to meet the shortfall.
Santosh Bagrodia (Cong) said there was a shortfall of 16,000 MW.