Problems in expansion of power sector – Mr Venugopal
Mr KC Venugopal minister of state for power informed the Rajya Sabha that government has been taking steps to improve the power availability in the country during the last several years, which includes, generation capacity addition, transmission expansion, renovation and modernization of old stations and distribution loss reduction.
As a result of various measures taken by the Government, capacity addition of 51,302 MW has been achieved till March 9th 2012 during 11th Five Year Plan as against 21,180 MW achieved during 10th Five Year Plan. Major reasons delaying the capacity addition program are shortage of fuel, delay in environment and forest clearance, land acquisition issues and rehabilitation and resettlement issues.
Various steps taken by Government to enhance the generation capacity addition in the country are as follows:
1. Review of progress of power projects is being done at the highest level by Union Power Minister, Secretary, Ministry of Power and Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority, to identify the constraint areas and facilitate their faster resolution.
2. Regular reviews are held at various levels including Ministry of Power, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Coal, Planning Commission and Cabinet Secretariat to identify the constraint areas and facilitate faster resolution of inter-ministerial and other outstanding issues.
3. An Advisory Group has been set up under the Chairmanship of Union Power Minister with former Secretaries of Ministry of Power, former Secretary of Ministry of Coal and Industry representatives to advise for expeditious completion of ongoing power generation projects and other issues facing power sector.
4. A Task Force on Hydro Project development, has been constituted to look into all issues relating to development of hydropower including issues of Rehabilitation and Resettlement of project affected persons. The Task Force is headed by the Minister of Power.
5. An Inter-Ministerial Group has been constituted (vide Ministry of Water Resources O.M. dated August 7th 2009) to evolve a suitable framework to guide and accelerate the development of Hydropower in the North-East.
6. Number of joint ventures have been/are being set up in the country for manufacturing of supercritical steam generators and turbine generators in the country and to ensure that there is no shortage of power equipment in the country.
7. Efforts are being made at Ministerial level to make available coal for the power sector. Utilities have been advised to import coal to meet their shortfall. Power producers have also been advised to design boilers for higher level of imported coal blending.