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Power reforms need to be speeded up, Shinde

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today said reforms in the power sector have to be speeded up to meet the requirements in transmission and distribution.

The Budget 2006-07 has also stressed upon the need for deep and durable reforms in transmission and distribution in the power sector.

Power generation in 2005-06 has so far shown a modest growth of 4.7 per cent because of shortage of fuel, mainly LNG and coal.

According to the Finance Minister, 82 power projects are under construction. When completed in one to three years, they will add 33,000 MW of capacity in the public sector and 6,500 MW of capacity in the private sector.

Of these, about 15,000 MW will come on stream by March 31, 2007.

The Power Ministry has also invited bids for five ultra mega power projects of 4,000 MW each. The Government plans to award these projects before December 31, 2006.

Power sector needs over a lakh-crore investment in the next 15-20 years. However, no fresh investments have been forthcoming from new or overseas players.

Mr Shinde also released a book written by Secretary Power R V Shahi titled, ''Indian Power Sector: Challenge and Response''. It was presented to President A P J Abdul Kalam in a brief function in Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Mr Shahi gave a brief account of the papers contained in the book, which are the writings of the period between 1991-2001 with reference to various aspects of the power sector. Mr Shinde highlighted that reform of the power sector is essential.

The benefits of reform have already started yielding results, but its pace has to be further speeded up. The problems and suggestions highlighted in the book would be of great relevance for carrying out the reforms further.

Dr Kalam said the articles in the book, which are based on his experience of various aspects of the power sector, namely generation, transmission and distribution, would definitely lead to discussions on not only the problems but the suggestions made for finding solutions.

''We need to take power to all our people who have not yet got access to power. We have to depend on development of new technologies and make our strategy for appropriate blend of different technologies for power generation,'' Dr Kalam added.

He stressed upon the need for reduction in the technical and non-technical losses in the electricity sector.

UNI RT SD BS1803

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