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Crucial meet tomorrow to review deteriorating power scenario

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) The centre will meet top government officials of the northern Indian states here tommorrow to take stock of the deteriorating power scenario plaguing the region reeling under a shortfall of 4500 MW.

''We have called a meeting of Energy Secretaries and Chief Secretaries of the Northern region states to review the situation.

We will have to be more forthright and convey the message to the states so that load management is done in a manner that a grid collapse is averted,'' Power Secretary R V Shahi had said earlier in the week.

Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal face a power shortage.

The meeting comes in the wake of a major grid collapse which was averted by the Northern region load dispatch Centre when Badarpur and Pragati Power Plant had to be shut down shortly after a fire at the Ballabgarh substation.

The CERC had warned state electricity boards and distribution companies against overdrawing power from the Northern Grid after the public sector transmission utility, Power Grid Corporation lodged a complaint against them.

Uttar Pradesh have been drawing much more electricity from the grid than their schedule. UP has been overdrawing up to 700 mw, Delhi was forced to overdraw about 450 mw last night when the Badarpur and the Pragati power plants were shut down.

Mr Shahi said all states would have to be more disciplined as overdrawing could lower the grid frequency to below 49 hertz, which could bring about major problems in the grid.

Western and Northern Region will continue to be in the grip of severe power crisis as their power deficit will exceed 16 and 13 percent respectively from current level of 14 and 11 percent since India is far behind in meeting its 10th plan capacity addition target of 41,110 MW, against which it could add up only less than 14000 MW of capacities by March 31, 2006, according to a recent analaysis by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The findings further reveal that power shortages in the Southern region will be minimal as their reservoirs level have gone up due to excessive rains in April-March 2005-06, the year in which it reported a power deficit of 0.8 percent.

The Northern Region which consists of Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu&Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, U P and Uttaranchal, the power availability in the period was 168,511 million units (MU) against the requirement of 188,418 MU. This region suffered a shortfall of 19,907 MU between April-March 2005-06 which in percentage terms works out to be 10.6 percent.

The situation will further deteriorate until more than adequate efforts are made to narrow the gap between power availability and its requirements in these states.

UNI/RT ARB VV1805

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