Power crisis in State linked to weak transmission lines

Power crisis in State linked to weak transmission lines

Centre taking steps to increase capacity: Union Minister Goyal

Power crisis in State linked to weak transmission lines

Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal, on Thursday said the Centre had not been able to bail out Karnataka from power crisis because of constraints in its transmission lines.

Addressing reporters after chairing a review meeting with Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and senior department officials, he said the Centre was ready to supply more power to the State, but Karnataka did not have adequate capacity of transmission lines within the State.

There is also a need to increase the capacity of transmission corridors in the entire southern region, he said.

“The country has surplus power now. And power is available at very competitive prices. I have urged the State to expand its transmission capacity so that it can also buy power at cheaper prices, he stated, adding that increasing the capacity was a long-term work and required a minimum of four to five years.

The State currently has about 6,400 mega watts (MW) of power available against the total requirement of 8,000 MW. The State is facing power supply shortage mainly due to decline in the water level in hydel reservoirs and outages in the Udupi Power Corporation Ltd and the Ballari Thermal Power Stations in the last few days. The electricity supply companies have resorted to buying 1,000 MW from the open market at Rs 5.08 per unit at a total estimated cost of Rs 3,400 crore.

The minister said steps were being taken to increase the capacity of transmission corridors in South India by 2,000 MW in the next few months. Besides, the Centre will soon bid to increase the capacity by additional 6,000 MW in the South. “The Centre and the State governments have already sorted out several issues to expeditiously complete transmission corridors and transmission lines which are very critical for power supply,” he added.

Additional coal supply  

Goyal, however, said the Centre would extend all help to the State to ramp up power generation at its thermal power stations. Additional coal supply will be made to the State, if necessary, in order to ensure that all thermal power plants work to their full capacity in the coming days, he added.

He said the Centre was taking steps to operationalise coal block allotted to the State in Maharastra at the earliest. Issues related to operationalising another coal block allotted to the State in West Bengal will be sorted out soon. In the coming days, the Centre will try to allot separate coal blocks to the states to prevent any confusion, he added.

Solar power plant

This apart, the minister said the Centre would extend full support to the State to implement the proposed solar power plant of 2,000-MW capacity at Pavagada in Tumakuru, which will be the largest in the country.

The Centre will give Karnataka Rs 1,700 crore to separate feeders for supplying powers to farmers and achieve 100 per cent electrification, he said.