Govt mulls creating separate central transmission entity
Government is looking at creating a separate entity to function as a dedicated central transmission utility with operational and financial authority, Parliament was informed on Monday. “Government has contemplated the creation of a separate entity as a dedicated company having operational and financial autonomy which shall discharge the statutory functions of Central Transmission Utility (CTU) along with other functions which inter-alia includes Power System Planning,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal stated in a written reply to Rajya Sabha today.
According to statement, the proposal for creation of such an entity is presently at a preliminary stage. At present, Power Grid Corp discharges the CTU functions. Its arm Power System Operation Corp manages the electricity grid in the country.
PSOC ensures integrated operation of regional and national power systems to facilitate transfer of electricity within and across regions and trans-national exchange of power. In another reply to the House, Goyal said that during the April-October period of the current fiscal, 2.67 per cent of coal and lignite based thermal units could not generate electricity at all.
During 12th Plan (2012-17) till September 2016, he said, a total of 3,000 MW of inefficient thermal generating capacity has been retired. This will result in better utilisation of more efficient plants. In another reply, Goyal stated that as reported by the states, there were 18,452 un-electrified census villages in the country, as on April 1, 2015.
Out of these, 10,628 villages have been electrified as on October, 31, 2016 and the remaining 7,824 un-electrified villages are targeted to be electrified by May, 2018. As per Census 2011, out of 1,678 lakh rural households in the country, 750 lakh were un-electrified.
However, 249.89 lakh BPL households have been released connections under Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), including Rural Electrification component, as on October, 31, 2016, he added. Goyal further said that the 23,273.5 MW capacity of coal and lignite based thermal power generating units were un-utilised due to its non-schedule from beneficiaries (Reserve shut down) as on November 14, 2016.
The un-utilised capacity of gas and other liquid/multi fuel power stations cannot be quantified as it depends on availability of gas, he added. On hydro power, he said as many as 12 Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of hydro power projects, with an aggregate installed capacity of 9,979, MW are under examination in Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday alleged that the Madhya Pradesh government purchased electricity at a high rate for the benefit of private power generation firms, and to make up the resultant loss of Rs 9,288.53 crore, it now wanted to put the burden on the consumers through a tariff hike. “MP Power Management Company Limited (MPPMCL) has sustained a whopping loss of Rs 9,288.53 crore according to its audit report of 2013-14,” state AAP convener Alok Agrawal said here. “Instead of buying power from MP Power Generating Company, NTPC and other government establishments, state government bought electricity, in some cases for Rs 9.50 per unit, from private electricity sellers,” he alleged.
“MPPMCL has petitioned MP Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) seeking its approval to hike power tariff for the three distribution companies which supply power to consumers in MP,” he said. “If the MPERC gives permission to MPPMCL, the domestic consumers will get power Rs 2.50 per unit costlier,” he added.
Agrawal said AAP was opposed to the MPPMCL petition and was going to contest it at hearing at MPERC on Tuesday. The petition aimed at “looting” the commoners, he said. The AAP leader, citing the petition, also said Rs 1,569 crore electricity dues of big consumers (industrial houses) were waived unlawfully. This made it clear that small consumers were being victimised, he added.
AAP will oppose any move to hike the power tariff and wanted the tariff to be halved, he said.