Jaipur, 27 August. Energy Minister Dr BD Kalla said that efforts would be made to increase the number of rail rakes for the availability and transportation of coal in the state. He held talks with the higher officials of the Ministry of Coal and Railways regarding the same.
Energy Minister Dr Kalla was giving instructions to the officials in a meeting organized to review the power system in the state through video conferencing on Friday. All the high officials of the Electricity Department were present in the meeting. The Principal Secretary to the Government, Mr Dinesh Kumar, was also present.
Shri Akhil Arora, Principal Secretary to the Government of Finance Department, informed that out of the total arrears for the subsidy bill of electricity distribution companies, 1000 crores had been paid. In addition to that, efforts are being made to pay the rest of the subsidy at the earliest.
The Managing Director of Urja Vikas Nigam, Mr Rohit Gupta, said that on normal days, the average rate of purchase of electricity in the power exchange is Rs. 3-4 per unit, which has increased to Rs. 17-18 per unit at present. He said that to meet the increased demand for electricity, efforts are being made to buy maximum power from the electricity exchange even at the prevailing expensive rates. However, due to the increase in the consumption of electricity in the whole of North India, the exchange also did not being able to provide a sufficient amount of electricity.
It was informed in the meeting that due to deficient monsoon in August, the consumption of electricity in the state has increased by about 700 lakh units per day as compared to last year. Breaking the records of previous years, the power consumption and maximum demand has been recorded so far as 3107 lakh units per day and 14650 MW. Due to the lack of rain, the power crisis has deepened not only in the state but in the whole of North India.
Power generation of 2500 MW is not being done due to insufficient supply of coal in the power generation units established in the state.
Dr. Kalla directed the Managing Directors of Power Distribution Companies to pay the outstanding bills of the Generation Corporation as early as possible. This would ensure the uninterrupted supply of coal. Along with this, he also gave instructions to the generating corporation to technically repair the fifth unit of 660 MW Chhabra and to generate electricity up to full capacity from the eighth unit of 660 MW Suratgarh.