Chances of the Centre allowing power-strapped Maharashtra to buy electricity from all possible sources look bright.
On Thursday, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde assured Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh that the power crisis would be looked into.
Shinde suggested that the state could buy extra power from independent producers in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Last summer, Shinde has stepped in to stop loadshedding in Mumbai by ordering extra share from the Centre.
A desperate Deshmukh urged Shinde to undertake a six-month schedule to start unit 1 and 3 of the Dabhol-based Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited (RGPPL). This will ensure extra 700 MW for the state that is facing a shortfall of over 5,500 MW. Currently, the state gets 700 MW from Dabhol.
The RGPPL will generate another 1,400 MW if it gets the remaining two blocks.
Shinde also assured that the National Thermal Power Corporation would start working on 1,000 MW plant in Mauda near Nagpur.
Meanwhile, Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora assured additional gas supply for the state-run Uran plant. This would add up to Uran's existing 300 MW generation by another 350 MW.
State babu point person for Dabhol
Considering the bad power scenario in his home state, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has got senior IAS officer from Maharashtra, Jayant Kawale, to deal with the issues related to the state.
Kawale will be the second officer from the state to work in the Union Power Ministry. Girish Pradhan is posted there as one of the joint secretaries.
Currently working as principal secretary (energy), Kawale had been reporting to Shinde when he was the chief minister. Kawale headed the state electricity board before its trifurcation. He told HT that he will assume his new post as joint secretary next week.
Sources said Kawale would act as point person for the Dabhol-based Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited (RGPPL) which would play a significant role in giving relief to Maharashtra.
Another state cadre senior IAS officer AK Lakhina heads the Centre undertaking Rural Electrification Corporation which has taken a keen interest in funding Maharashtra's power sector reforms.