Is Gujarat really outperforming other states and the central government in the area of power generation and supply?
Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) is the state-run power generation, trading and distribution company, with six subsidiaries under its umbrella. Gujarat State Electricity Co. Ltd. under GUVNL is the government controlled power producer with an installed capacity of 5,155 MW.
Presently the total installed thermal power capacity in Gujarat is around 18,962 MW, which includes coal, gas and diesel. Of this, the private sector owns 10,648 MW, whereas the central power utilities account for 2,833 MW.
With the summers approaching, the state of Gujarat enjoys a power surplus of 2000 MW, when other states including Delhi are facing problem to fulfill their growing demands.
In Gujarat, the transmission and distribution losses are up to the tune 15%. However, the average distribution losses in some other states are at 35-40%. Because of the lower losses in transmission and distribution, Gujarat has joined the list of those states where state electricity boards and power distributors are reporting profit.
According to Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Board data, industry accounts for close to 40 per cent of total electricity consumption, agriculture 22.65 per cent, domestic users 16 per cent and other users 10 per cent. Commercial users account for 7.52 per cent of consumption.
“We have better power supply in Gujarat than Delhi. Our villages get 24 hour three-phase power supply. He (Narendra Modi) has developed villages at par with cities,” Ajit Mokashi, an employee with a private power firm in Gujarat told this citizen journalist .
Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that there is no power crisis for the industries operating in the state, "We get a new connection easily by paying additional charges. There is no shortage of power for any industry in Vadodara," Nilesh Shukla, senior vice-president of the chamber was quoted by TheTimes of India as saying.
GUVNL had planned to issue one lakh new power connections for agricultural purpose during the financial year 2012-13 at a total cost of over Rs 1,700 crore. Till date 63, 971 connections have been sanctioned.
Gujarat has aimed to electrify its total 18,000 villages through its flagship scheme Jyoti Gram project. The project commissioned in the year 2006, with a back up fund of Rs. 1,200 crores, has even got the appreciation of the central government. The central government accepted Jyoti Gram project as a flagship scheme for the 12th Five-Year plan (2012-17) for supplying round-the-clock, high-quality, three-phase power to all villages.
Under this project, Gujarat uses a separate electric feeder for domestic use and limited agricultural supply. The Planning Commission's 2012 document 'Faster, Sustainable and More Inclusive Growth: An Approach to the 12th Five Year Plan', while speaking about Jyoti Gram, says, “The programme of feeder separation has to be carried throughout the country. Gujarat has achieved very good results by combining feeder separation with an extensive watershed programme for groundwater recharge”.
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