Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday dedicated a 500-megawatt (Mw) unit of the Anpara D thermal power project in Sonbhadra district.
The unit belongs to the state-owned Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam. Another 500-Mw unit of Anpara D is likely to be ready to generate and feed the grid by the first week of July.
Total investment of about Rs 7,000 crore is estimated for the entire project. It is likely to supply power at the rate of Rs 2.92 a unit, much lower than rates charged by the private sector plants.
The synchronisation of the unit would help the state government to tide over the power crisis to a great extent, which heightens during summers every year. At peak hours, the energy demand-supply gap widens to almost 3,000 Mw, leading to long duration of power cuts, especially in rural and remote districts.
The ruling Samajwadi Party government is targeting to ramp up power generation and availability in the coming months to provide at least 16 hours and 22-24 hours of power in rural and urban areas, respectively.
The Anpara D project has been developed at the site of the ash pond, which was used to dump fly ash generated from the burning of coal by Anapara A and B thermal power projects. The 13-metre deep ash pond site measured about 5,400 acres in Sonbhadra district.
Therefore, Anapara D project did not involve fresh land acquisition. This project was first sanctioned in January 2008 during the previous Mayawati regime. However, it gained pace only during the incumbent Akhilesh government.
Addressing a gathering in Sonbhadra, Yadav said his government was committed to speedier development on energy, water and road fronts. He said the augmentation of the state energy budget to almost Rs 29,000 crore was a testimony to the urgency accorded to the sector.
All India Engineers Federation Chairman Shailendra Dubey complimented the state government on the feat and urged him to set up more super-critical thermal generation units in the public sector, especially in the backdrop of the failure of private sector plants.
Taking wings under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) route. These MoUs, totalling about 8,000 Mw, were signed during the Mayawati government but have not yet materalised.
The state government is targeting to raise power availability to over 20,000 Mw by 2016-17 from the current 10,000 Mw from all sources.
Besides low power availability, Uttar Pradesh is grappling with high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of about 42 per cent. The state targets to reduce this figure to five per cent by 2017.
AT&C losses are sum of technical loss, commercial loss and shortage due to non-realisation of total billed amount. It includes power theft and losses during transmission and distribution of power.