Power crisis in Madhya Pradesh



Bhopal: With semi-urban and rural areas in Madhya Pradesh reeling under a severe power crisis, the state's power generation company is working hard to increase its capacity to meet growing demand.

"We will start generation from two units of 250-MW each from the Satpuda Thermal Power Plant, Sarni and also 2x600-MW (1,200 MW) from the Singaji Thermal Power Plant (Phase-I) in 2012-13 to enhance power generation in the state," Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (MPPGCL) Chairman and Chief Managing Director (CMD) K M Sajnani told on friday.

Against a peak demand of 7,500-8,000 MW, the state is generating 2,932.5 MW from thermal power plants and 915 MW from hydel sources to meet its requirements. It is trying to bridge the gap through other sources like the central pool and power purchases from other states.

State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced setting up of a 660 MW unit in place of the existing 5x62.5-MW (312.5 MW) units in Sarni, which are over 40 years old, he said.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest had given conditional clearance to the under-construction units at Sarni, stating that once the generation commences from these units, the company has to dismantle the five old units.

Accordingly, the state government decided to set up another unit of 660-MW capacity at Sarni in place of the old ones.

The proposal and the feasibility report to set up this unit has been sent to the Project Review Committee of the state government, which is expected to give its approval soon.

The estimated cost of the proposed unit is around Rs 4,200 crore and 80 per cent of the project cost will be met through outside financing sources and 20 per cent will be the contribution of the state government, the MPPGCL CMD said.

"Besides, we are also working on setting up a 1,700-MW thermal power plant under Singaji Phase-II in Khandwa district, for which land has been acquired, water has been allocated and permission for the construction of a 275-metre long chimney is awaited from the Ministry of Civil Aviation," he said.

The Ministry of Coal is expected to allocate a coal block for the proposed unit soon and once all these formalities are over, work on the project will commence in full swing to meet the growing demand for power in the state.

However, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Chief Spokesman Manak Agrawal said that despite the tall claims made by the state government to solve the power crisis by 2012-13, the Congress is sure that they won't be able to do much on this score.

Rural areas in the state get power supply for a mere four-five hours in a day, while semi-urban areas were facing 10-12 hour power cuts.

The BJP has promised that it will solve the power crisis before the 2013 Assembly polls, but it has failed to do anything concrete in this regard, he said.

Power, roads and water will be major issues again in 2013, as they were in the 2003 and 2008 Assembly polls, he added.

PTI