Faced with a slow pace of reforms in the power sector in last three years, the country will fall short of meeting the XI Plan capacity addition target of 78,000 MW by 2012, a repeat of the X Plan performance.

This was disclosed to reporters here by Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on the sidelines of a conference. His assessment found immediate support from Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who also predicted a capacity addition shortfall of 8,000 MW during the XI Plan.

“We are hopeful of adding 70,000 MW power generation capacity and with some extra effort we may be able to get to 78,000 MW power generation capacity as targeted in the XI Plan,” Mr. Ahluwalia said.

On the other hand, Mr. Shinde said there would be a gap of 6,000 to 7,000 MW between the targeted power generation capacity addition of 78,000 MW in the XI Plan and actual delivery due to shortage of coal and gas. In the X Plan ending 2007, the country had witnessed a capacity addition shortfall by almost 50 per cent. India added 20,950 MW of capacity against a target of 41,110 MW. However, till date no official down grading of the targets had been done either by the Power Ministry or the Planning Commission. Mr. Shinde said he would take up the matter of additional allocation of natural gas with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry for a generation capacity of nearly 15,000 MW to commission some of the projects lying idle due to lack of gas.

Addressing the international conclave on “Key inputs for accelerated development of Indian power sector for XII plan and beyond” here, Mr. Shinde said the government had already placed orders for 80,000 MW of fresh electricity generation capacity, against the target of 78,700 MW during the entire XI Plan. A capacity of about 16,395 MW had already been commissioned and the remaining capacity of 64,215 MW was under various stages of construction, he added. Besides, projects totalling 32,000 MW were under execution. The government had formulated a plan to add about 5,653 MW in the first 100 days of its tenure, ending August 31. A capacity addition of 3,378 MW had already been achieved and efforts were being made to achieve the balance by the month end, he said.

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