‘Chhattisgarh has excess power but no buyers’

Chhattisgarh has excess electricity to sell, but many power distribution firms are unable to purchase, a top state official said on Saturday.

New Delhi: Chhattisgarh has excess electricity to sell, but many power distribution firms are unable to purchase due to their poor financial conditions, a top state official said on Saturday.
"We have lot of power to sell but the problem is that the
companies do not have the money to buy it," Chhattisgarh Chief
Secretary PJ Oommen told reporters here.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 12th Annual Chief
Secretaries Summit organised by PHDCCI, he said the issue
of power distribution companies (discoms) not having enough
money to purchase electricity should be seriously looked into.

"Power companies are facing a crisis today and the
central and state governments need to consider this issue as
it is a serious matter," Oommen pointed out.

Most of the discoms are deep in the red, mainly on
account of lower tariff and high transmission losses.

"With power tariffs being low, the companies are not able
to go for future purchases. The power regulators and some
state governments have been trying to keep the tariffs low,"
he said.

Power being an important sector for the economy, Oomen
stressed that tariffs on power should be considered in the
same way as one considers petrol and diesel prices.
On the issue of naxalism affecting the investment climate
in the state, Oommen said that the government has assigned the
issue a top priority.

"Indeed the state is affected by left-wing extremism, but
the government has made it a top priority," he noted.

The government has been facing problem in reaching out to
the remote areas as the state government personnel are afraid
in going to these areas due to threat from extremist elements,
he pointed out adding that this is "now changing".

"Slowly, but steadily our officers are reaching out to
the villages and are convincing the people to come forward and
avail the government schemes to uplift their conditions,"
Oommen noted.

Chhattisgarh government is also opening educational
institutions to help village and tribal children to come
forward to study and the government has recently opened a
medical college in Jagdalpur, one of the naxal affected
areas, Oommen added.

Besides this, he said that the state has a lot of
opportunities in the power and mining sectors and is also
looking for private investments in these areas.


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