Chief minister Arjun Munda with Adhunik Group officials after the inauguration of the thermal power plant in Gamharia on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Oct. 16: Chief minister Arjun Munda today prophesied that Jharkhand would get over its power woes in five years, making his declaration at the launch of the first unit of a 1,080MW Adhunik Group plant at Gamharia in Seraikela-Kharsawan.
Munda said that with the commissioning of the 270MW unit of the Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Limited (APNRL) plant, Jharkhand was on track to become a power-surplus state.
Speaking after inaugurating the first private thermal power plant in Jharkhand at Padampur, 20km from the steel city, he added: “At present, Jharkhand has a power requirement of 2,100MW. So far, we have supply of 2,000MW (650MW from DVC, 950MW from JSEB and 400MW from central allocation). We eagerly await the completion of another 270MW unit at the APNRL plant by December.”
He also said that the two more thermal power plants set up by private players in Latehar would start generating 2,000MW electricity by 2013.
“We have set a target of producing around 8,000MW power within a span of five years, which would not only be sufficient for Jharkhand but also put us in a position to supply to other states,” said the chief minister.
APNRL — the power arm of the Calcutta-based group — had signed an MoU with the state government in October 2005 for generating 1,080MW power from its thermal plant.
It has targeted generating 540MW in the first phase..
According to the MoU, 25 per cent of the power produced by the company will be supplied to JSEB. The state power utility will get 67MW from the first unit that was launched today, besides 130MW altogether by March 2013.
APNRL has already signed power purchase agreements with JSEB, Power Trading Corporation, Tata Power Trading Company and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company.
The chief minister also said that the government was conscious of safeguarding the interest of land losers in mega projects.
“We have to take up development schemes in partnership with all stakeholders (including land losers). The schemes should be such that the lives of those in the lower rungs of society are improved. The government has worked out a Rs 860-crore rehabilitation plan for those who have parted with land for several irrigation projects. The payments will be made in the next five years,” he added.
Supporting the chief minister’s inclusive growth strategy, Adhunik Group MD Manoj Agarwal said, “Gujarat has 2,662MT lignite reserves, whose production capacity in the 13th Five-Year Plan is expected to be 25,000MW, while it depends largely on imported coal and gas power generation. It is this power, which Gujarat very proudly credits for its progress. Jharkhand, on the other hand, has 72,200MT of quality coal reserves. With abundant coal at its disposal, Jharkhand can also match Gujarat.”
He reasoned that if Jharkhand could produce 5,000MW power in 13th Five-Year Plan (2017-22) the state’s consumers would get supplies at reasonable rates. A power-surplus status would earn the government Rs 8,000 crore as facilitation fees and other taxes via coal, which could be used to double the income of 20 lakh BPL families in a year, he said.