Severe power crisis looms large over State: OSM

Staff Reporter

Orissa may face a peak shortage of 262 mw

Centre being blamed unnecessarily for the situation: OSM

BHUBANESWAR: OSEB Shramik Mahasangha (OSM), a union of former government-run electricity board, on Sunday raised alarm over possibilities of Orissa plunging into severe power crisis saying there had been no addition of generation capacity in the State after 2001.

“Orissa has reached a breakneck situation with regard to demand and supply of power due to no addition of generation capacity after commissioning of Upper Indravati Hydro Electric Project (UIHEP) in 2001,” OSM General Secretary Ramesh Satpathy said addressing a press conference here.

Mr. Satpathy warned, “unless government takes appropriate initiatives in a timely manner for generating stations to be established by independent power producers (IPPs) and such other future units (which would take time to be erected and commissioned), the State may not be able to meet the demand for power.”

“A bad monsoon will be ruinous for the State’s economy, which called for sufficient spinning reserve to maintain continuity of supply of electricity,” he said.

In two spells Orissa had signed 13 memoranda of understanding with IPPs for capacity addition of about 16190 mw power at an estimated cost of Rs. 68,299 crore in 2006.

Quoting the Union Power Ministry, Mr. Satpathy said, “Orissa may face a peak shortage of 262 mw and energy shortage of 1574 million unit by 2011-12 in spite of receipt of about 429 mw additional power from the Central sector generating stations during XI plan.”

The OSM general secretary also pointed out to an advisory of Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), that asked the State government to take appropriate steps for capacity addition through green field and brown field expansion projects so that the State could continue to maintain a comfortable power position to meet the upcoming industrial and rural electrification loads due to massive industrialisation and rural electrification under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyut Yojna (RGGVY) and Biju Gram Jyoti Yojna (BGJY) during XI plan.

He said the dismal performance of IPPs and private developers interested to set up thermal power plants in the State led the commission to believe that the State might face both energy and peak shortage by the end of 2011-12.

The OSM also ridiculed the approach of State government to rein in Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) in which it was a major shareholder.

Mr. Satpathy said there was a deliberate attempt to blame the Centre government every time although the present government had failed to augment power capacity.

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