Bihar restoring to power-shedding despite surplus, says Union power minister - Hindustan Times
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Bihar restoring to power-shedding despite surplus, says Union power minister

By, Patna
Aug 18, 2023 09:42 PM IST

Union power minister RK Singh said Bihar was among the three states in India that was still resorting to power-shedding, despite India having turned from a power-deficit to a power-surplus country over the last nine years.

Union power minister RK Singh on Friday asked the Bihar government to explain why it was still resorting to power-shedding, leading to police firing in Katihar, despite adequate availability of power in the state.

Union power minister RK Singh asked the Bihar government to explain why it was still resorting to power-shedding (HT Photo)
Union power minister RK Singh asked the Bihar government to explain why it was still resorting to power-shedding (HT Photo)

Singh was speaking at the inauguration of the 660 MW unit 2 of stage-I of NTPC’s Barh Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Barh subdivision of Patna district on Friday.

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He said Bihar was among the three states in India that was still resorting to power-shedding, despite India having turned from a power-deficit to a power-surplus country over the last nine years.

On July 26 this year, two people were killed when a mob of 1,000 turned violent at the block office in Barsoi subdivisional headquarters of Katihar district to protest frequent power outages and poor quality of power.

The minister said the state was now getting around 7,100 MW power from the NTPC against its average daily demand of 7,000 MW, after the commissioning of the new unit on August 1. Mentioning about the monetary support from the Centre to the state for strengthening its distribution and transmission network, he urged the state government to flag to the Centre any issues it was facing in providing uninterrupted power to the people of the state.

He said the ministry of power (MoP) had asked states to explain reasons for power-shedding despite the country having a capacity to generate 4.21 lakh MW against its peak load demand of 2.34 lakh MW.

Sensitising people about their rights, he urged them to lodge a complaint with the Central Grievance Redressal Forum, and forward him a copy of it, if they felt the power distribution companies in the state were resorting to power-shedding.

The Barh Super Thermal Power Project, with an overall planned capacity of 3300 MW, consists of 1980 MW (3X660 MW) in stage I and 1320 MW (2X660 MW) in stage II. All the units are based on supercritical technology, which is an efficient technology for power generation.

“Bihar will get approximately 2337 MW from the Barh project (1194 MW from stage-I and 1143 MW from stage II). Currently, NTPC Barh supplies 1935 MW to Bihar (792 MW from Stage I and 1143 MW from Stage II). The unit dedicated today by the Union power minister is the fourth 660 MW environment-friendly supercritical technology-based unit of Barh plant which has started commercial electricity generation from 1st August 2023,” NTPC spokesperson, Vishwanath Chandan said.

The fifth and final unit will be ready next year.

Meanwhile, state’s energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, who was supposed to preside over the event, did not attend the function.

Yadav’s office said the minister was indisposed.

Aditya Prakash, managing director of the North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd., was the only senior representative from the state’s energy department.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Ruchir writes on health, aviation, power and myriad other issues. An ex-TOI, he has worked both on Desk and in reporting. He over 25 years of broadcast and print journalism experience in Assam, Jharkhand & Bihar.

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