Patna, Sept. 1: State energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav today called for a uniform tariff rate regime for power generated at central plants across the country.
“At present, there are various tariff rates in different regions. There should be one rate across the country as it happens in the railways,” Yadav said.
He was addressing a workshop on “Black start and restoration procedure for Bihar system”, jointly organised by the Eastern Region Power Committee (ERPC), Eastern Region Load Despatch Centre and Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB).
Citing the example of Barh super thermal power plant, Yadav said Bihar buys power at a higher tariff rate from the plant, while states like Delhi have to pay less.
The tariff rates for central generating units — National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) — depend on two factors — the cost at which the plant was set up and second, the types of coal, imported or indigenous, being used by the plant, sources said.
On the July 31 grid failure, the minister blamed “failure in regulation” and not “failure of the system for the disparity in generation, transmission and evacuation system” with eastern states.
“Had it been the case of system failure, it would not have been restored within six to eight hours. Basically, the grid failure occurred owing to overdrawing by some northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. Bihar did not have a role in the grid failure as it used to get 1,200MW-1,300MW against the scheduled allocation of 1,800MW from the central sector,” Yadav said.
Holding the Centre responsible for mismatch in demand and supply of power, he said the Centre had fixed a target of generation of 72,000MW against which 53,000MW of genera tion could be achieved in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan. “If the Centre fixes a target, it should try to achieve the target in the Five-Year Plan,” he added.
Making an appeal to PowerGrid officials to set up more grids in the state to help improve its transmission network, the minister said Odisha, which is a smaller state in comparison to Bihar, has 13 grids while Bihar has four. To strengthen the transmission network, which has a capacity to supply 4,000MW-4,500MW power, in the state, Yadav said the state government would enter into an pact with PowerGrid for 25 years to lay transmission lines and network so that it would be able to supply 10,000MW-12,000MW power by 2016-17.
Reiterating the chief minister’s Independence Day speech in which he had said that he would not seek votes in the 2015 Assembly elections if he fails to improve the power in every village, Yadav said: “The chief minister does not make such announcements without any basis. We have made preparations for 2015. You will start witnessing a perceptible change in the power situation from 2014 itself.”
Board chairman P.K. Rai said: “In today’s world, a word like ‘blackout’ is a dreaded and frightful one which people cannot even think of. Blackout in the entire region is an undesirable event.”
In order to prepare oneself to avert the catastrophic situation like the one that happened on July 31, Rai suggested that “mock drills are to be arranged so that our engineers and officials are able to find out reasons and deficiencies during the emergency”.
Addressing the workshop on its second day, Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission chairman U.N. Panjiar said blackouts also occur in foreign countries, where restoration work took 12 to 24 hours, whereas it was restored in Bihar within six to eight hours.