Power,water supply losing battle with demand: NCRPB

The National Capital Region Planning Board’s (NCRPB) draft revised plan for 2021 projects a bleak outlook,stating that the region’s power and water demands will be far more than its present supply capacity.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:July 3, 2013 2:07 am

The National Capital Region Planning Board’s (NCRPB) draft revised plan for 2021 projects a bleak outlook,stating that the region’s power and water demands will be far more than its present supply capacity.

The draft revised plan estimates that the NCR region requires power generation capacity of 29,249MW to meet future demands,while the demand for water is expected to reach 23,467 million cubic meters (MCM) by 2021,against just 13,779 MCM available at present.

The draft revised plan 2021 was released on Monday,following a meeting of the NCRPB chaired by Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath.

The report says: “The power supply in the NCR has not kept pace with the increasing population and the growth of economic activities in the region. There is an overall shortage of power in the northern grid from where the region draws power and hence power cuts have become a routine affair,disturbing daily life as well as affecting economic productivity.” Among the NCR cities,the projected peak demand for Delhi is the highest at 9,024 MW,followed by Haryana at 6,754 MW.

The draft plan also emphasised the need to plan for additional power generating capacity of 15,625 MW for the NCR by 2021-22. In order to prepare for the jump in demand,the NCRPB recommended that state distribution companies should procure power through competitive bidding,and that state governments should allocate power to their respective sub-regions from upcoming and present power projects.

Like power,the NCRPB projected a sharp jump in the region’s water demand. According to the report,the total water available in the NCR is 13,779 MCM,while the total water demand in 2021 is expected to reach 23,467 MCM. The report states,“…the population of NCT is expected to reach 617 lakh by 2021 and the consequent rising demand due to urbanisation poses serious challenges to the availability of water.”

To meet the challenge of increasing water demand,the NCRPB has recommended an increase in water tariffs. “Low tariff structures lead to a vicious circle of inadequate funds for operation and maintenance,resulting in poor maintenance and unreliable water supply,” the report reads. It adds that rationalising the tariff structure on a telescopic basis — higher tariff for higher consumption — would encourage water conservation and increase revenue.

The NCRPB has also suggested groundwater recharging and rainwater harvesting along with revival of lakes and ponds to store and conserve water. “Priority may be given for reduction of non-revenue water as a means of demand management. Target of unaccounted for water should be limited to 15 per cent by all local bodies by 2021,” the report reads.

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