Bengaluru: The Union Government will examine the possibility of ensuring additional coal supply to Karnataka to ramp up power production from thermal units in the wake of severe shortage of power, said Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, and Renewable Energy, Mr Piyush Goyal.
Addressing reporters after a review meeting here on Thursday, he said hydel power generation in Karnataka had dropped to 40 per cent as against 80 per cent owing to poor rainfall. The Union Government would also examine the possibility of diverting power from power-surplus states to Karnataka, besides releasing additional quota of coal.
Power prices had come down by nearly 50 per cent after the Modi Government came to power at the Centre. States such as Karnataka could buy power from north India at a competitive price. However, Karnataka had to improve its transmission corridors to buy power from states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh. Power, which was sold at Rs 12 to 13 per unit, was now available at Rs 5 per unit. In the last one year, the Union Government added 22,500 circuit km, he said.
On the controversy over allotment of a single block in West Bengal to seven states, including Karnataka, Mr Goyal said that it was not a good idea of asking seven states to share one block. There had to be one block to each state. The government would re-examine it and bring out alternative mechanism of allotting independent blocks to each states.
“We are sorting out various operational issues which are critical for transmission lines and transmission corridors. This will help make available sufficient power to south India round-the-clock at cheaper rates. It will be achieved by 2019. Our plan is to add 6000 MW of power to south Indian grid during 2018-19,” he added.
He said that he had spoken to the chief minister of Maharashtra to extend full co-operation to Karnataka, which had been allotted a coal block in that State. Formalities were at final stages for calling for operational tender mining. It would be done expeditiously to help Karnataka to get sufficient quantity of coal for its thermal plants.
Mr. Goyal said Asia’s biggest solar park was coming up on 10,000 acres of barren land at Pavagada in Tumkur district to generate 2000 MW of power. No impediments were seen in setting up of this park jointly by the Union and State governments. The bidding process would begin soon for this PPA model solar park....