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Cell for power projects soon

Calcutta, Sept. 22: Unhappy with the pace of implementation of power projects, the Union power ministry has decided to set up a power project monitoring committee which will be headed by the special secretary (power).

“The committee will take weekly reviews of the progress of the ongoing projects as well as the projects in pipeline. Efforts are also underway to have an institutional arrangement to expedite inter-state inputs for early clearance of projects,” power ministry sources said. Against the targeted capacity addition plan of 30,538 MW in the Eighth Five-Year Plan, actual capacity addition was only 16423 MW (54 per cent). Similarly in the Ninth Plan, against the target of 40,245 MW, only about 20,420 MW (51 per cent) is likely to fructify. Thus, there have been major shortfalls in both plans.

To ensure this is not repeated again, the ministry has reviewed the project monitoring mechanism of the major central power sector undertakings (CPSUs). Most CPSUs have a three-tier system to monitor the progress of projects under implementation. The three tiers are—a milestone oriented detailed scheduling at working level, detailed package-wise scheduling at the project manager level and an overall master control network scheduling at top level.

“The review of the system revealed that the monitoring mechanism of the projects at pre-implementation stage was not vigorous as it was for projects already under implementation (ongoing projects). The ministry has now strengthened the monitoring systems for such projects and has decided to set up a project monitoring cell. This will enable follow up from feasibility to the ordering stage,” power ministry officials said.

On account of the inadequate generation capacity, the country is plagued by power shortages. Total energy shortage during 2000-01 was 39,816 million units, or 7.8 per cent and the peak shortage was 10,157 MW translating to 13 per cent of peak demand.

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