The government on Friday expressed confidence that hydro power generation may go up this year on the account of good monsoons. "Hydro power (generation) will certainly go up... The rains have been quite good this year and I am quite confident that we would see quite good hydro power generation," Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of MoU signing ceremony between NTPC, NHPC and Himachal Pradesh to set up a hydro engineering college in the state. "We had a shortage in the last two years because of drought but this time...hopefully hydropower generation will be at its best," he said.
NTPC and NHPC are committed to contributing Rs 37.50 crore each (total Rs 75 crore) in the first tranche for setting up of college. They will also consider releasing Rs 12.5 crore each (total 25 crore) in the second tranche.
Both the state-owned power generating firms will also contribute Rs 2.5 crore each per year for five years towards operating expenses. Country's hydro power generation from April 1-July 25 in the current fiscal was at 42.64 billion units, short by 5.72 per cent of the target.
Hydro power generation has been above the targetted level in northern and north eastern regions. The government had earlier said that it is preparing a new framework to boost hydropower development in the country by lowering the cost and removal of long-drawn clearances. Meanwhile, government has fixed higher rice procurement target of 33 million tonnes for the 2016-17 marketing year starting October while directing states to open adequate number of purchasing centres.
Rice procurement has already surpassed the target of 30 million tonnes set for the current 2015-16 marketing year (October-September). The Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for foodgrain procurement and distribution, has so far purchased 30.92 million tonnes of rice. "The procurement target for 2016-17 has been finalised at 33 million tonnes," an official statement said.
India is estimated to have produced over 103.36 million tonnes of rice in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), which is 2.12 million tonnes lower from 105.48 million tonnes achieved in 2014-15 crop year. Target for Punjab has been kept at 9.4 million tonnes (mt) followed by Chhattisgarh (3.5 mt) Uttar Pradesh (3.35 mt), Haryana and Andhra Pradesh (2.9 mt each), Odisha (2.4 mt) and Bihar (2 mt), West Bengal (1.7 mt), Telangana (1.5 mt) and Tamil Nadu (1 mt). The target for Jharkhand has been kept at 2,72,000 tonnes, Madhya Pradesh (9,00,000 tonnes), Maharashtra (2,50,000 tonnes), Kerala (1,22,000 tonnes), Assam (75,000 tonnes) and Karnataka (50,000 tonnes), it said.
Rice procurement target was fixed at the meeting of the state food secretaries chaired by Union Food Secretary Vrinda Sarup. The meeting also reviewed arrangements for procurement of paddy and coarse grains for 2016-17.