Centre to UP: Fend for yourself
IN WHAT may kick start a new round of blame game, the Congress led UPA Government at the Centre has outrightly rejected Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav?s demand for 1,000 MW of additional electricity from the Central pool. On the contrary, the Centre has attributed the power shortage in the State to UP?s failure to set up new powerhouses and modernise the existing ones, contain power theft and effectively implement the Centre-funded schemes.india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 01:08 IST
IN WHAT may kick start a new round of blame game, the Congress led UPA Government at the Centre has outrightly rejected Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s demand for 1,000 MW of additional electricity from the Central pool.
On the contrary, the Centre has attributed the power shortage in the State to UP’s failure to set up new powerhouses and modernise the existing ones, contain power theft and effectively implement the Centre-funded schemes.
In a letter written to UP chief secretary R Ramni, Union power secretary RV Shahi gives a point-wise reply to Yadav’s letter which he had handed over to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh during latter’s visit here on September 1, 2005. Yadav had, in his letter, demanded that the State’s share in the electricity of the Central generating stations (CGSs) be increased from 3600 MW to 4600 MW to meet the growing power demand of the State.
Shahi in his reply dashed off on January 13 rebutted the allegation that UP was being given less share in unallocated power. Giving a detailed power house-wise break up, he said that till December 13, UP was being supplied 20-25 per cent of electricity from the unallocated quota of the CGSs in the northern region. The share was highest compared to any other northern State, he said. “In fact, UP was drawing more power from the grid than what it is entitled to. On the other hand it is also not paying up the Unscheduled Interchange charges which in total stand at over Rs 400 crore,” Shahi pointed out.
Listing the main causes of power shortage in UP, the power secretary said inadequate power capacity enhancement under public sector during the 9th Plan, no capacity enhancement till now under the 10 the Plan, low plant load factors of power stations, and high T&D losses were all responsible for blackouts in the State.
Substantiating his point, he gave an example of Harduaganj-B, Obra, Parichha and Panki thermal powerhouses the plant load factor (PLF) of which, he claimed, was as low as only 13 pc, 41 pc, 38 pc and 51 pc, respectively compared to the national average of 72 per cent. Giving another example of how inefficiently the power houses were being run in UP, Shahi said the PLF of Unchahar and Tanda power houses was only 15 and 18 per cent prior to their take over by the NTPC in January 2000 and February 2002. But their PLF became 54 and 79 per cent, respectively, within a year of their take over and today their PLF had reached 80 pc and 92 pc which, he said, was among the highest in the country.
Shahi also mentioned how UP rejected the final proposal from the Japanese Bank for Industrial Cooperation (JBIC) for financing construction of a 1000 MW Anpara thermal power house under the public sector and did not pay any heed to the Power Finance Corporation’s proposal for the same.
The power secretary regretted that despite the Centre sanctioning Rs 1090 crore for UP under the Accelerated Power Development Reform Programme (APDRP) aiming at upgrading power transmission and distribution system in cities, the State had spent only Rs 140 crore during the last 3 years. He also blamed the State for not setting up special power courts as provided under the Electricity Act, 2003 for speedy and effective trial.
“In the end I would like to say that despite its supplementary role, the Centre has given all the possible assistance to Uttar Pradesh,” he said advising the State for bringing the PLF of its power houses at par with the national average and reduce T&D losses by 15 per cent. “These measures will rid UP of the prevailing power shortage,” he sermonized.
First Published: Mar 06, 2006 00:46 IST