With temperature soaring high in the capital and other regions of India, power cuts are deteriorating the condition further and making the summers really unbearable. With this water irregularity is obvious to come into the picture. This is a setback at the individual level, but power shortage is deeply impacting the industries as well as economy of our country.
Political leaders have different views on the present scenario of power crisis. Leaders of the present BJP government blame Congress-led UPA government for deteriorating the condition to this extent. This has happened because of privatization of electricity and scams in the power sector. They are saying that it will definitely take some time to resolve the condition.
Apart from this no investment in power infrastructure has been done in India for the last 10-15 years. Every political party works on tariff not investment. Because of this most of the electricity companies are going through debt and unable to buy power and meet the demand.
There is no shortage of coal mines in India but power industry always suffers from coal shortage. Gap between demand and supply of coal is huge. This gap was 35 million tonnes in 2007 and near about 83 million tonnes in 2012. It is expected that by 2020 the coal shortage would be around 200 million tonnes. Shortage in the supply of coal is impacting the power generation. In 2009 government declared ‘no go’ policy. It put a complete ban on coal mining in forested area. Hence 35% of forest areas in nine prominent coal mines came under ‘no go’ zones.
Then the task of mining was given jointly to many companies even the rivals companies. This led to chaos and had never worked.
Domestic shortage of coal has never been met by imported coal. This is because of the ownership conflict regarding coal during transit between Coal India and the Indian Railways.
Near about 42,000 MW power plants have been built and ready to operate but these lack fuel.
Lack of infrastructure and shortage of equipment such as turbines, boilers and generators is another major hurdle and reason of power crisis in India.
Private investors are discouraged because state electricity boards are unable to buy power at commercial rates. India’s largest thermal power generator, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) showed a net profit of just 1% in 2010-11. Distribution companies are losing every year. Their accumulated loss in 2010 was Rs 82,000 crore. Hence lack of profit is a major discouragement.
For the 12th five year plan (2012-17) the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), major advisory body to the Union power minister, has set a target to generate 100,000 MW of additional power to meet the power demand. It has been accepted by the Planning Commission but not by Environment Ministry as the plan was ecologically unsound. Additional generation of electricity would impact the environment and bring undesirable change in the climate. Hence it never worked out.
India has faulty, inefficient and sub standard equipments like transformers which lead to the huge loss of power during transmission and distribution. Again no investment has been done in this sector.
Condition of the capital is no longer different from the rest of India. The Indian Energy Exchange estimated that northern region including Delhi demands 69 million units of power but only 51 million units were purchased by distributors because of insufficient transmission capacity. Demand in Delhi last Sunday was near about 5,600 MW but 5,150 MW was purchased.
Minister of State for Power, Piyush Goyal has something else to say. According to him India has surplus power but its distribution is the major problem. No investment has been done for the last 10-15 years in Delhi’s transmission and distribution system. So India’s capital has enough power but improper and incompetent power distribution system. Capital’s power distribution companies BSES Yamuna, BSES Rajdhani and Tata Power Delhi are stating that present condition would be normalized with a drop in temperature. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has asked to take power saving measures like power supply cut to malls after 10 pm, switching off high-mast halogen street lamps for a few hours every day.
Above that three transmission network lines had been damaged to a great extent because of thunderstorm on May 30. Though restoration work is in progress but still these have not been repaired and one of the reasons of power cuts in the capital.
Sensing the present and future demand of electricity chances to lessen the load are extremely bleak. For every one percent increase in GDP, additional one percent power is required. If this need is not met then not only power sector but all the other industries will be impacted. Hence government must come up with effective plans to handle the condition of power crisis in India and its capital. India must shift her focus to alternate source of energy like wind and solar to generate power. Government must work on the plans to invest in power sector.