New power policy to come in a week

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22GBELLARY The State government will shortly announce its new power policy with thrust on tapping non-conventional energy, according to D.K. Shivakumar, Minister for Energy.

Mr. Shivakumar, who was on a visit to the Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) to review the performance of the two 500 megawatt each units and also the progress of work on the 700 megawatt unit, was responding to presspersons here on Monday.

He said that the power policy on the anvil would be an exhaustive one covering all aspects, including improving production, bringing down transmission and distribution losses with the help of modern technology and also harnessing solar and wind power to generate electricity under private-public partnership.

“Preparations are going on and we will announce the policy in a week,” he said.

Mr. Shivakumar said that power generation at BTPS was 65 per cent of the installed capacity in both the 500 megawatt each units, owing to various reasons, including non-use of washed coal.

The BJP government had stopped using washed coal which affected the plant and machinery besides bringing down power generation, he said.

“I have discussed the matter with the officials concerned and have directed them to come out with ways and means to ensure optimum power generation to achieve at least 90 per cent of the installed capacity in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, the BTPS has been directed to use only washed coal,” he said.

To a question, he said that a two-day coal stock was available with BTPS and efforts are being made to shore up stock.

He said that Chief Minister Mr. Siddaramaiah and he would meet the Union Minister for Coal, Power and also the Prime Minister requesting them to allot adequate coal from the mines that are near Karnataka to save on transportation cost.

He informed that all efforts were on to generate adequate power and also purchase power from other States to ensure that the State did not reel under power crisis during summer.

The Minister reiterated that the government was keen on ensuring uninterrupted power supply to those farmers willing to pay power charges for irrigating their fields. “We want our farmers to develop economically. We will also provide power at concessional rates. The only thing is that they should pay to benefit,” he said.

Leaders Hasanabba, Kamala Mariswamy and J.S. Anjaneyalu were present.

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