Special Correspondent

Representation from the staff to Power Minister helps stall move

State Government not taken into confidence over the issue, says MinisterCentre to be urged to allow Goa to draw 25 MW of power from the Southern GridNHPC submits report on Goa's potential in hydropower generation

PANAJI: The decision of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to shift the Regional Inspectorate Organisation (RIO) from the State to the Mumbai premises of the Western Regional Electricity Board (WREB) has been put on hold following the intervention of Power Minister Digambar Kamat.

Mr. Kamat said here on Monday that he received a representation from the staff of RIO that the move would inconvenience them. This apart, industrial bodies such as the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Goa Small Industries' Association (GSIA) brought to his notice that the move would cause major hardships to industries as they have to get clearance for connections of 11 KV and above from RIO.

Noting that the State Government has not been taken into confidence over the issue, Mr. Kamat described it as a "wrong decision" and said he has requested Union Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, who is currently looking after the Power portfolio, and CEA Chairman Rakesh Nath to put the decision on hold.

Power crisis

Goa hopes to tide over the power crisis by urging the Centre to allow it to draw 25 MW from the Southern Grid, which was disconnected two years ago, Mr. Kamat said and added that the State is keen on a tie-up with the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) to start hydroelectricity generation as a long-term measure.

The State has to contend with a shortfall of 50-MW power it received from the Korba power plant on account of on-going repairs that will last a few months, he said.

Mr. Kamat said he has asked the Power Trading Corporation Chairman to set aside some power generated at the 30-MW captive power plant coming up at Amona in North Goa, for the State.

He disclosed that the NHPC, which was assigned the task of doing a study on Goa's potential in hydropower generation, has submitted its report.

It has been found that while the initial investment could be high for generating hydropower, it is expected to add to the State grid.

The State Government is also keen on venturing into thermal power generation to augment its power supply, he added.