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Home News Power Sector News Jharkhand's dream of surplus power generation shattered

Jharkhand's dream of surplus power generation shattered

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JHARKHANDJharkhand's dream of zero power cuts and generating surplus power has been shattered. The state, which has abundance of coal reserves, at the time of formation of a separate state was visualized as power hub of the country with a power generation capacity of over 10,000 MW.  The state government in 2001 had envisaged that by 2010 the state will be in a position to make huge earnings by trading surplus power. The ambitious plan never became a reality. At present, the state has meager 20 watts per capita installed capacity against the national average of 100 watts per head.

Political instability and frequent change of chairman of state-owned Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), which is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity has to be blamed for the condition, said a JSEB officer.

In the last eight years, the state government has changed 10 chairpersons and because of frequent change of guard things have gone from bad to worst. Some of them were even allowed to remain in office for less than six months, which was hardly enough to understand the office set up and prepare a road map for power surplus state.

Sources in JSEB said in reality, per capita power in the state is barely 10 watts, much less than the installed capacity as most of the units of state-owned Patratu Thermal Power Station (PTPS) and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL) remain out of order due to technical fault. Condition of the only hydel plant at Sikidri is also the same as it hardly gets adequate water to run the turbine. At present, Sikidri has been shut down due to unavailability of water from the Subarnarekha basin.

"Against the claimed installed capacity of 1,500 MW we barely manage to generate 500 MW to 550 on a given day. If there is breakdown in any of the two thermal power plants then it comes down to 200 MW to 250 MW," said the source adding, "We have to mainly depend on central sector allocation which is around 250 MW per day."

However, former chief secretary and new JSEB chairman AK Chugh, is very optimistic. Chugh was appointed on Wednesday replacing HB Lal after Jharkhand High Court directed the government to replace the latter citing violation of rules of appointment.

"I am optimistic about improvement and that too within a short period. After joining office I had a meeting with all the board members and asked them to prepare a blueprint for development as well as a report on the problem area," said Chugh adding, "within next three to four days I will be able to get a clear picture that will help to ensure some visible improvement of situation."

Source- Times of India

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