As the Karnataka government is not supporting the “right of way” for the Centre’s transmission projects, the latter is finding it difficult to take electricity lines to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, among other sourthern states, said Piyush Goyal, minister of state for coal, power, new and renewable energy and mines (independent charge), on Monday in New Delhi. “We are not getting support of right of way particularly in Karnataka. And Karnataka being strategically located, I can not take transmission lines to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other southern states without the support and passing through Karnataka,” said the power minister.
The latest performance report of power ministry states that the transmission network in the country had increased 40 per cent to 7.4 lakh MVA in March, 2017, from 5.3 lakh MVA in March, 2014. “We have increased the capacity of southern grid by 89 per cent in the last three years due to which 24 hours electricity can be withdrawn by any state at any time. There is not a single state that is demanding more capacity. But, despite that, I am committed to further double this capacity in the next four three years,” the power minister added.
When asked what would be an effect of America moving out of Paris climate agreement on the Indian power sector, the minister said: “The prime minister has made it clear that it is his personal commitment, it is an article of faith, it is a joint decision of this country and we all have to work to achieve the goals of international agreement. Everyone in this world has come together to clean the environment, to reduce the pollution and India also has a role to play in it..”
The minister also expressed his disappointment stating that despite being rich in coal reserves, the country has to import the fossil fuel for power plants with an installed capacity of 83,100 MW which are designed to feed on imported coal.
“As far as India is concerned, ideally we do not wish to import any coal from anywhere in the world. We have sufficient coal capacity. The previous government did not even imagine that India could be self-sufficient and could depend solely on its own coal. Because of which 83,100 MW of coal-based thermal power capacity has been set up in this country which is either partially or fully dependent on imported coal,” the minister said.
He also said that mines ministry is closely working with law ministry to evolve an enabling framework which would result in auction of offshore mineral blocks quickly.