National » Tamil Nadu

Updated: June 15, 2012 03:56 IST

Delay in commissioning projects blamed for power shortage

Staff Reporter
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TANGEDCO cites schemes executed in joint venture with Centre

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) has cited the delay in the commissioning of power projects executed in joint venture with Central agencies as a reason for the shortage of 4,000 MW of electricity faced by the State as against the requirement of 12,000 MW for supplying unrestricted power.

Filing a counter-affidavit to a public interest litigation petition filed before the Madras High Court Bench here, TANGEDCO stated that the Vallur Thermal Power Project, the North Chennai Thermal Power Project and the Tuticorin Thermal Power Project were delayed by six to 20 months, affecting the generation of 3,700 MW electricity.

The three units of the Vallur project, executed jointly with National Thermal Power Corporation, were capable of generating 500 MW of electricity each.

They were scheduled to be commissioned in November 2010, April 2011 and September 2011 respectively. The present schedule was July 2012, September 2012 and July 2013.

Similarly, two units of North Chennai Thermal Power Project, executed along with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, were scheduled to be commissioned in May and September 2011.

They too got delayed despite repeated insistence to expedite their commissioning in the review meetings.

Their present committed schedule was January 2013 and August 2012. Each of them was capable of generating 600 MW.

The Tuticorin Thermal Power Project, executed in association with the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, had two units of 500 MW each, which were scheduled to be commissioned in April and September 2012.

They were delayed by 15 and six months and their present committed schedule was June and March 2013, TANGEDCO submitted.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project delay

It also noted that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project too had not been put to use till date despite a statement made by the Chief Minister in the Assembly on March 29 that it was expected to be commissioned within two months.

The delays were caused even as the State urgently required 3000 MW to meet the deficit during 2012-13.

The Corporation claimed that it was unable to purchase from the open market owing to corridor congestion. The power grid in the country was divided into Southern grid and NEW (North, North-East, East and West) grid.

Cost of power

The cost of power in the former was more than in the latter.

There was no natural power flow from NEW grid to the southern grid thereby disabling the southern States from drawing power from northern grid.

When the matter came up for hearing before a Division Bench of Justice R. Banumathi and Justice B. Rajendran on Thursday, the judges adjourned the case to June 28.

Main plea

The main plea of the PIL petitioner was to direct the Centre to allot the entire proposed generation of 2,000 MW of electricity from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project to Tamil Nadu without any diversion.

The Centre had already filed a reply in the case stating that a host State of a Central power project cannot be supplied with the entire electricity generated as it would prove to be disadvantageous to the other States.

It also stated that Tamil Nadu was facing power shortage due to inadequate tie-ups with long term sources of power generation and there was no possibility of bridging the huge gap between demand and supply through short or medium term purchases.

The Union Ministry of Power also referred to the delay in commissioning 12 power generation projects (six under Central sector, four in State sector and two private sector) in the State due to reasons such as slow progress of civil works, non-availability of labour and delayed supplies of plant equipment.

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This shows the shoddy project management followed by the state govt
agencies. While a one or two month delay is grudgingly acceptable a gap
of twenty months shows that very serious lapses - which were either
grossly ignored or overlooked - that had hampered this project. TANGEDCO
should explain the reasons for delay and should be penalised hevaily.
The project manager at TANGEDCO should be punished and sacked. I can
accept this to happen in a private concern or in a developed country.

from:  Govindarajan
Posted on: Jun 16, 2012 at 22:08 IST

Due to cost escalation clauses these projects are purposely made to
delay.This is made with the help of all concerned.The projects are
delayed only to escalate the project costs.This is happening right from
the beginning.

Posted on: Jun 15, 2012 at 07:50 IST
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