No cut in powercuts in Kolkata, says minister

India Express, April 10, 2010

The city witnessed the hottest April in many years: Met department

With the mercury level soaring and Kolkata witnessing the hottest April in years, the city will have to brave itself for powercuts for the entire month.

State Commerce and Industries Minister Nirupam Sen, who holds the additional charge of the Power department, said the situation will get better only after April.

“Though we expect a better situation after this month, but still we cannot say that there will be no powercuts. There has been a rise in the temperature and consumption has gone up. People are angry,” Sen said this while addressing a programme on capacity building on electricity reforms on Friday.

He added that the most of the power plants in the state are old and cannot meet the plant load factor.

Sen also alleged that the coal being supplied from the Mahanadi Coal Fields Limited is of poor quality, resulting in reduced power generation.

The minister said the state will try to ensure that Power Development Corporation Limited generates 3,000 MW of power.

Another reason behind the shortage is that the government cannot buy power from other states, as the entire country is facing a crisis, claimed Sen.

“We are getting only 50 per cent of the overall power supply from agencies like NTPC,” he added. After April, the state is likely to get more power from other states.

Claiming that there is a shortage of rakes for carrying coal, Sen said: “On an average, we require about 15 rakes every day to carry coal. But we are getting only about 12 rakes now.”

However, in a press release issued later, the Ministry of Railways claimed that there was no shortage of rakes.

“Everyday 30 rakes provided by the Railways lie idle because of inadequate loading by Coal India Ltd,” the release stated.

On Friday, Bengal faced an overall shortage of 1,000 MW power — 800 MW shortage in Bengal area and 200 MW in CESC area.

On Thursday, the shortage was reported to be 810 MW— while CESC area shortfall was 210 MW, in Bengal area it was 600 MW.

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