There’s light ahead for the power-starved national capital region (NCR). If the Centre has its way, the region will get dedicated power supply of 8,000 megawatts (MW) from two new ultra-mega power projects.
The two projects of 4,000 mw each, costing about Rs 40,000 crore, are aimed at lighting up “108 cities and towns” peppered
across three states (Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan) that surround Delhi.
According to the Regional Plan 2021, the NCR’s power requirement will be 34,444 MW by 2021, the shortfall around 23,345 MW.
Delhi alone needs 4,100 MW every year, while its installed capacity is 1,300 MW. Delhi bridges this gap from various states.
The two projects will help, but won’t bridge the gap completely. And this will happen only if the next government decides to go ahead with the projects; then too, it will take four to five years from the word go.
Shortage of power could derail the $25-billion economic activities — special economic zones, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor and new townships — planned in the NCR under its Regional Plan 2021.
Which is why the Urban Development Ministry is pushing for dedicated power supply.
In a March 23 letter to the Coal Ministry, M. Ramachandran, secretary, Urban Development Ministry, sought the allocation of coal blocks for the projects. While the exact locations are yet to be decided, these will be close to pitheads in some coal-rich state. The plants will supply power through the national grid, he said.
“The constituent states of the NCR find it difficult to divert adequate power to the region in the absence of power plants dedicated to the NCR region,” he said. “There is an urgent need to set up a dedicated power plant for the NCR.”
The region currently accounts for a substantial part of the country’s production of cars (60 per cent), motorcycles (55 per cent) and tractors (25 per cent).
A high-level committee constituted “for making the NCR a region of global excellence” has also recommended the setting up of these plants. The committee comprises the power and energy secretaries and financial commissioner of the NCR constituent states, along with representatives from the Power Ministry and NCR Planning Board.