NTPC has had to back down 16 million units of power generation for want of demand in the first five months of the fiscal year, according to its Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury.

The idling of capacity during this period compares with the three million units that it had to `idle’ in the same period last fiscal. This power was not requisitioned due to inadequate demand, he told reporters during an informal chat. He, however, ruled out slowing down the implementation of projects on hand. Slowing down implementation would accentuate the problem further, he added.

No financial impact

“There is no financial impact of this phenomenon on NTPC,” he said.

He was optimistic that demand would rise in the third and fourth quarters, especially in view of the elections in several states.

Mr. Choudhury also said that the new Land Bill would increase by nearly 30 per cent the lead time taken for setting up a power plant. Responding to a question, he said, ``Our people have told me that it may now take 48 to 53 months to go through the five levels of consultation process , as against the 36 months that were needed under the present dispensation.’’

Ramp up production

NTPC, which has five billion tonnes of reserves from its own coal mines, is planning to ramp up its production to about 38 million tonnes by the end of this plan period.

“We will see if we can produce at a cheaper price than Coal India Ltd,” he said.

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