The Telegraph
Sunday , September 30 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plea for Bhutan power

Patna, Sept. 29: Bihar State Electricity Board has demanded 1,500MW of allocation from Bhutan’s three hydroelectric plants — Punatsangchu I and II and Mangdechu — to meet the state’s requirement for implementing its agriculture roadmap.

The plants are expected to generate 2,900MW from 2015-16. Representatives of Bihar, Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which want to purchase power from the plants in Bhutan, participated in the meeting in New Delhi held yesterday.

Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) chairman P.K. Rai met Central Electricity Authority (CEA) chairman A.K. Awasthi and cited the state’s low power generation, power requirement for agriculture roadmap and less per capita power consumption as the ground for more allocation .

“The 18th energy power survey has projected Bihar’s power demand at 5,620MW in 2016-17, which is very low as it has not taken into consideration the requirement for implementation of the agriculture roadmap,” Rai said.

If the requirement for implementation of the roadmap is taken into consideration, which envisages the setting up of separate feeders to irrigate lands, the projected demand of energy power survey would automatically increase manifold,” he added.

To buttress his point, Rai said Bihar, which never got its allocated quota of 1,832MW from the central sector, consumed only 6.5 per cent power in agriculture against the national average of 20 per cent.

“Bihar’s per capita annual power consumption is 122 units against the national average of 717,” he added.

CEA chairman Awasthi assured Rai that he would look into its demand for allocation of additional power for the implementation of agriculture roadmap. He also assured the BSEB chairman that the CEA would review the energy power survey projection for Bihar.

“If the CEA alters the 18th energy power survey projection, Bihar is sure to get more allocation from the central government,” a senior power board official said.

President Pranab Mukherjee would visit Patna on October 3 to launch the agriculture roadmap.