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India is a power surplus country but electricity does not reach all regions due to network constraints in some states, a senior official said.
"The installed power generation capacity is 330 GW. The available power is 220 GW. The peak rated requirement is about 155 GW. In term of power capacity and requirement, yes (India is a power surplus country)," Power Secretary A K Bhalla said during a panel discussion here when asked whether it is an illusion that India is a power surplus state.
"But why it is an illusion...because power is to reach where it is needed...there is sufficient increase in inter-state power transmission capacity. Transmission within the states (intra-state) is where major issues come up. Some of the states' power carrying capacity is limited," he said.
Elaborating on the matter, he said, "Surplus power is available nationally but we cannot carry that to all the places with circuit constraints with these states. These are the constraints which lead to power cuts and other shortages of power in localised areas."
He was of the view that the consumer should not suffer due to inefficiency of power distribution utilities and there should not be any unscheduled power cuts.
The existing legal framework provides that the power cuts should be done only in case of technical faults or natural calamity. There is penal provision for unscheduled power cuts. But power regulators have rarely invoked that provision and penalised discoms. Bhalla added that the Electricity Amendment Bill will provide for 24X7 power for all from April 1, 2019.
The bill will soon be discussed with the states before finalisation for approval of the Union Cabinet and introduction in Parliament. The bill is likely to be pushed for passage in the monsoon session of Parliament sometime in July this year.
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