Govt to set up panels for power sector growth

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 5 2009, 09:41am hrs
Against the backdrop of the Planning Commissions recent observation that the capacity addition of just 60,000 mw against the target of 78,700 mw could be possible by end of 2011-12 , the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Energy will set up various groups to make recommendations for an overall growth of the power sector.

The proposed groups will look into issues relating to roadblocks in the capacity addition of thermal, hydro and gas power projects, expediting the implementation of renewable power projects, measures required to avoid slippages in the procurement of power plant equipment, reduction in aggregate transmission and commercial losses, availability of fuel, energy efficiency and conservation and most importantly availability of adequate funds. The committee, which is headed by the former defence minister Mulayam Singh, is also expected to set up group on the promotion of private sector. The committee, scheduled to meet on October 6, will take a decision on the formation of proposed groups.

A senior member of the committee told FE A large number of members at its maiden meeting held on September 18 expressed disappointment over India once again failing to meet its capacity addition target by the of 11th Plan. However, it was decided that the committee should invest time in making recommendations for a healthy growth of the power sector. The committee is aware that the power ministry and Central Electricity Authority have estimated capacity addition of 1 lakh mw in 12th Plan (2012-17). During discussion, it was decided that members will make their suggestions on the formation of various groups that will look into the issues and possible solutions. Members were quite vocal on the issue of aggregate transmission and losses, which range from as low as 11% in Mumbai to as high as 74% in certain north-eastern states. The power ministry and states have already decided to reduce these losses to 15% by end of 11th Plan.

Moreover, a committee member said UPAs flagship schemes revised accelerate power development and reform programme and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) have been lagging behind their targets and further push is needed. Last week, power minister Sushilkumar Shinde took the review. The ministry has said bottlenecks such as delay in awards of contracts, in land acquisition, in finalisation of BPL list and theft of materials are affecting the implementation of RGGVY.