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Power crisis hits country, but Madhya Pradesh has surplus

While major states are reeling under power shortage, Madhya Pradesh has escaped largely unscathed, thanks to big thermal power projects becoming operational in the past one year or so.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2014 16:26 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times

While major states are reeling under power shortage, Madhya Pradesh has escaped largely unscathed thanks to big thermal power projects becoming operational in the past one year or so. In fact, Madhya Pradesh now has surplus power due to increase in hydro generation capacity after monsoon picked up in the state.

"We have additional power, ample supply and this situation will improve further in the coming days when more projects are scheduled to go on stream," MP Power Management Company Ltd managing director Manu Shrivastava told HT.

The current available power is about 8,500 MW as against the peak demand of 7,000 MW. While the state’s installed capacity has crossed 14,000 MW, power generation has been hit due to shortage of coal and deficient rainfall this year.

However, while the availability of power dipped in third week of August, the situation has now improved drastically. Madhya Pradesh is now supplying its surplus power to Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal. It is also selling 200 MW power at Rs 5.11 per unit.

Major power projects, including Reliance Power’s ultra-mega power project (UMPP) in Sasan, Shri Singaji Thermal Power projects and Satpura Thermal Power Project have been commissioned in the past one-and-a-half year boosting the power generation capacity of Madhya Pradesh. While there is some concern due to impending Supreme Court verdict on coal block allocation, power units who have already signed mining lease with the state government and those that are importing coal are unlikely to face any problem.

The situation is in stark contrast to last decade when the state was reeling under acute power shortage. In 2003, the then Congress government complained of a shortfall of 2,200 MW after the creation of Chhattisgarh and there were widespread power cuts in the entire state. All major power plants were in Chhattisgarh, while Madhya Pradesh retained only the state electricity board.

A decade later, the BJP has managed to change the power scenario in Madhya Pradesh. The power department says that the power success story of Madhya Pradesh does not come out of just availability of electricity. The state has made it commercially viable by reducing the employee cost per unit. Every unit of power is now metered and certified by the Western Regional Power Committee.

While aggregate technical and commercial losses came down from a whopping 49.55 per cent in 2004 to 27.11 per cent in 2013, revenue has increased from Rs 4,521 crore in 2003 to Rs 15,284 crore in 2013.

Official sources say that the government began with identifying the problem areas, including assessing the actual demand for electricity in the state. The state hired PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for providing all-round consultancy to the government and the generation, distribution and transmission companies. The consultancy firm helped the government in designing, implementing and monitoring the broad-based reform implementation work in various key functional areas like finance, technology and regulatory framework.