November 7, 2016

Power production “zero” in Bihar: Piyush Goyal

PATNA: Even as Nitish Kumar government today claimed improvement in power scenario in Bihar through full page advertisements in newspapers, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal trashed it saying the poll-bound state’s power production is nothing but “zero”. 

“Not a single MW or unit of electricity is generated by Bihar government owned power plants. The entire power supply to Bihar is being met by the Centre,” Goyal said. 

“The Centre has been providing 2800 MW electricity to illuminate the state on day-to-day basis. Of which, 484 MW is not even the allocated share of Bihar,” he said. 
“The ground reality belies all those claims being made by the Nitish Kumar government about improvement in power situation in Bihar,” the Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy told reporters here. 

Throwing a gauntlet to Kumar to speak out about the ground reality of power scenario in Bihar, Goyal asked him for how long the production will remain zero in the state. 

On the state government’s claim that it has identified 2500 acre land for construction of an Ultra Mega Power Project in Banka district, he said identification of land was not enough and it has to be acquired by the state government. 

The Centre has allotted a dedicated coal mine for the said project, but construction work was delayed as the state government has not acquired land, Goyal said. 

Raising questions about transmission infrastructure of the state, the Union minister reminded Kumar about his promise in 2012 to people that if he failed to improve electricity condition he would not come to seek vote in 2015 election. 

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of power scenario in Bihar, Kumar said on last Sunday that all villages would be electrified within a year and it should not be confused with electrifying every household. 

The transmission infrastructure comprising 628 power stations and 98 grid power sub-stations was not enough to provide electricity to all villages of Bihar, Goyal said. 

Despite the state government’s claim about improved power scenario, the per capita electricity consumption in Bihar is only one-fifth of national ratio at 200 units against 1000 units at the national level, he said. 

He also expressed concern at the ‘unacceptably high’ transmission loss rate of 46 per cent. 

Hinting at corruption in the power department, Goyal said a staggering 46,000 transformers had to be changed in the state over the past five years due to their poor quality. 

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