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Power blues back to haunt State

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 15:11 IST
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EVEN AS the BJP-led State Government is claiming that the power generation capacity has increased by more than 1800 mw since it came to power, and the electricity shortage would be thing of past in a year or two, the MP Power Trading Company Limited (MPPTCL) is buying an average of one crore units of electricity daily, costing Rs 5.50 crore.

The power is supposedly being bought to ensure that the shortage doesn’t turn awful, putting the State Government in a tight spot. 

Even after buying costly electricity, power cuts persist. The shortfall ranges between 600 mw and 800 mw during the off peak and peak hours respectively.

In this Rabi season, MPPTCL, carved out of the still-existing state-run MPSEB, has decided to buy electricity of Rs 1000 crore. In the last Rabi season (2005-2006), the MPSEB bought electricity of nearly Rs 900 crore.

Three years back when the Congress government was in power, the power purchases in the Rabi season didn’t exceed Rs 500 crore according to MPSEB officials. 

Compared to the last Rabi season, the unrestricted peaks demand this season has shot up by nearly 10 per cent. Last time, the Rabi peak demand was some 5900 mw; this time round it has touched some 6200 mw.

The MPPTCL is buying costly electricity as the State Government is painting a rosy picture of electricity sector.

Also, the by-elections in Vidisha, Bada Malehra and Pandhana have forced the State Government to mount pressure on the MPPTCL to buy more electricity from whatever sources available. 

MPPTCL is buying electricity from Power Trading Corporation (PTC), NTPC’s National Vidyut Vapar Nigam, ADANI, LANCO and Tata Power for an average of Rs 4.50 to Rs 5.80 per unit. On the other hand, the distribution companies were supplying power to the domestic consumers for around Rs 2.65 per unit.

According to the MPPTCL plan, it would buy Rs 1000 crore electricity in this Rabi season (October 2006 – March 2007). Already, the company has bought electricity costing more than Rs 250 crore in the last two months (purchases of around Rs 60.65 crore were made in October and around Rs 190 crore was spent to buy power in November).

Against the MPPTCL plan, the State Government has given its nod to provide Rs 250 crore to the company as loan or grant.

When contacted, MPPTCL Managing Director and MPSEB secretary P K Vaish admitted that electricity of over Rs 250 crore has been purchased in the last two months.

He said that his company is getting costly power because power shortage persists across the country. He admitted that the State Government has agreed to provide loan or grant of Rs 250 crore for the power purchase.

“We are trying hard to get more money from the State Government for power purchases. We not only buy electricity but sell power too”, Vaishya said, adding that company has earned profit by selling power to other states during rainy season when MP had excess power.