Uttar Pradesh targets doubling power availability to 21,000 Mw by 2016-17
Power-starved Uttar Pradesh, which is currently facing coal shortages at its several thermal power plants, has projected to double power availability to 21,000 megawatt (Mw) by 2016-17 in the state. The government has estimated peak hour power demand rising to 23,000 Mw by 2016-17. Currently total power available with state power utility UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) stands at roughly 10,500 Mw from several sources, including public and private sector thermal/hydro power generation, procuring from energy exchange, bilateral agreements etc.
UP is expecting that new power plants, both in the public and private sectors, currently underdevelopment would be ready within stipulated timelines. Besides, the state would seek additional power through case I bidding to make up for the shortfall. The state is targeting to provide 22 hours power to all district headquarters and 16 hours in the rural areas by 2016-end with augmented power availability. The prevailing coal shortage had resulted in the temporary shut down of several thermal power units. The state government had accused the Centre of providing sub-optimum coal supply to its plants, deepening the crisis. So much so that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had written multiple letters to the Centre seeking adequate coal supply, besides full quota of power from central sector.
Today, Yadav convened a review meeting with chief secretary Alok Ranjan and senior power department officials, including energy principal secretary Sanjay Agarwal and UPPCL managing director A P Mishra on power sector. Later addressing a press conference, Ranjan informed the government had accorded top priority to energy as industrial development largely depended on it.
The state has planned to incur Rs 22,500 crore and Rs 15,000 crore on sprucing up the transmission and distribution networks respectively. Besides, Rs 22,000 crore would be invested on rural electrification. “We have taken up the issue of coal shortage with the Centre and fresh supply has started from yesterday. It would take another 2-3 days for coal supply to get normal,” he informed. Ranjan said even central thermal power plants had been facing coal shortage, resulting in sub-optimum generation.