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Bihar crawling out of 'lantern' age

Nitish Kumar Government is targeting to add 7,000 MW power generation capacity for the energy-starved state.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 11:56 IST

Faced with the daunting task of getting Bihar back on the track of development, the Nitish Kumar Government is targeting to add 7,000 MW power generation capacity for the energy-starved state during the 11th Plan.

The State Government anticipates an investment to the tune of Rs 36,000 crore, including from private sector, to augment its power generation capacity by 7,000 MW.

"We are targeting to add 7,000 MW power in the state during the 11th Plan for which an investment of Rs 36,000 crore is required," State Energy Minister Vijayendra Prasad Yadav said.

At present, the state is dependent on the Centre for allocating power from the central sector generating plants in the eastern region.

Yadav said the state Government has decided to invite private sector for three projects at Navinagar, Pirpaithi, and Kursela. "We have received encouraging response from the private sector with as many as 13 bids for the projects," he said.

He said that the Navinagar and Pirpaithi projects would have a capacity of 2,000 MW each whereas the Kursela project will generate 1,000 MW electricity.

"The state government aims to build a capacity to generate at least 345 MW from hydro power during the 11th Plan," he said, adding that the State Government has identified 18 locations for setting up hydro power plants.

Talking about the existing power plants in the state, Yadav said there is a an urgent need to augment the generating capacity of the Barauni thermal power plant by 2X250 MW at Rs 2,250 crore.

He said the 11th Plan will see 15,000 MW power production from north eastern states and that Bihar should get its fare share from the augmented capacity.

"The Centre should increase the quota of power for the state as there are times when even the minimum requirement of power in the state is not met," he said.

Yadav said Nabinagar, Pirpainti, and Katihar are ideal locations for future power projects. "Land acquisition, environment clearance and work on coal linkage has already been started and a separate shell company is also being formed to implement these projects," he said.

The power sector in Bihar has been badly affected due to bifurcation of the state into Bihar and Jharkhand in 2000. In the residual area under Bihar, there are no coal or other mineral mines.

The Damodar Valley Corp (DVC), which was a major power producer and supplier in valley area, has gone to Jharkhand. Major generating plants of the state Government at Patratu, Tenughat and Subernrekha HE Have also gone to Jharkhand.

The average per capita consumption, which was 152 units before bifurcation of the state has now come down to about 76 units in the residual Bihar, against the national average close to 600 units.

Yadav said the state Government has requested the Centre for facilitating coal linkages for the proposed power plants in the state.