States failed to generate electricity in last 15 yrs: Shinde

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Kolhapur, Apr 11 (UNI) Union Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today attributed the present power shortage in the country to failure of all states to launch electricity generation projects in last 15 years.

The Congress-led UPA government has resolved to generate power on a priority basis. By implementing various projects, it hopes to free the people from load-shedding by 2011 to 2012. At present, there is a shortage of 25,000 mega watt of power in the country, said Mr Shinde after laying a foundation stone for the south-west interconnector of 1,000 MW (2x500 MW) high voltage direct convert back to back station at Kalamba village on the outskirts of the city.

He said there was no progress in power circulation due to lack of power transmission line. Now the government has targeted to circulate 37,000 MW of power from present 17,000 MW. For this, the work on laying of transmission line has been undertaken on priority basis, he pointed out.

The UPA government has assured people to provide electricity to all villages under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification programme, whereunder about 1.20 lakh villages will be targeted. Out of these, 47,000 villages were provided electricity, while the remaining will be covered soon, for this, the government has allocated Rs 28 crore, he said.

Under the 11th five year plan, the Union government had proposed Rs 55,000 crore for energy development of 80,000 MW power. Of which, 26,000 MW of power generation was undertaken in the first year of the plan, he said.

The 1,000 MW project by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, built at an estimated cost of about Rs 1,200 crore, will benefit Maharashtra and Goa, Mr Shinde pointed out.

Power Grid chairman and managing director R P Singh, giving the details of the project, said under this project, 2x500 MW HVDC back-to-back station at Kolhapur will be established along with 400 kV Kolhapur Narendra d/c transmission line and loop-in-loop out of 400 kV Kolhapur-Mapusa d/c transmission line.

The scheme will facilitate major load centres in southern parts of Maharashtra, like Kolhapur and Solapur, direct access to nuclear power generating station of Kaiga in south region, he said.

The Union government has invested about Rs 10,000 crore in Maharashtra for power generation scheme, which will free the state from electricity shortage till 2012, Mr Singh added.

G P Pradhan, upper secretary (power) in Government of India, said the project was one of the total five plans to be set-up in the country.

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