The transmission sector may impede India’s efforts for economic growth due to a mismatch with 120 projects delayed by difficulties in obtaining right of way and forest clearance, according to a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and consultancy firm Booz and Co.
The report, titled Power Transmission: The Real Bottleneck, released on Friday said the transmission sector has “emerged as one of the primary obstacles in the country’s efforts to overcome power shortages which currently entail a GDP (gross domestic product) loss of US$ 68 billion or 0.4% of GDP.”
This comes in the backdrop of India’s worst blackout last summer that left nearly 620 million people without electricity. On 31 July 2012, the northern grid collapsed, and the next day, in a wider blackout, the northern, eastern and north-eastern grids broke down.
Grid collapse is the worst-case scenario for any transmission utility—when this happens, states that draw power from a particular network go without electricity.
The report said efficient planning will bring down the commissioning period to 40 months, reducing the concentration of excessive projects to a single state-owned entity—in this case, Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL)—and incentivizing the use of modern technology.
The report added that PGCIL is severely overburdened with more than Rs.1.2 trillion projects and takes an average six years to complete a project. “Every single transmission line in the country will get delayed,” said Pratik Agarwal, chairman of the Ficci task force on power transmission.