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IDBI seeks NTPC technical consultancy for Dabhol

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, April 12

IDBI has sought technical consultancy from the National Thermal Power Corporation for maintenance of Dabhol Power Company (DPC), according to the Union Minister of State for Power, Ms Jayawantiben Mehta.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an industry function at the Indian Merchants Chamber here on Friday, the Minister said the IDBI Chairman, Mr P.P. Vora, had recently met the NTPC Chairman, Mr C.P. Jain, in this regard. NTPC would provide technical consultancy "at a cost'', she said.

The DPC plant is lying idle with few hands to maintain it and with the second phase remaining incomplete, it would require expert advise on maintenance.

Earlier, speaking at the function, Ms Mehta said India had a capacity to generate 1.5 lakh MW of hydro electricity which formed only 24 per cent of the country's total power generation capacity. Keeping this in view, the Government had, for the first time, provided budgetary support for hydro power.

Ms Mehta said states owed power dues of Rs 41,000 crore to the Central Government utilities. The Centre had appointed a committee headed by Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia to devise ways for recovering this sum.

She said 40 per cent of funds distributed through the APDP scheme was for renovation and modernisation. The Union Government planned to lay more emphasis on distribution reforms and all the four regional load despatch centres would be commissioned by the end of this year to build a national grid for power distribution.

Ms Mehta said that although power sector required an investment of Rs eight lakh crore to increase the generating capacity to 1 lakh MW, raising money for the purpose would not be difficult if electricity boards cut costs and transmission and distribution losses.

She said adding another 10 per cent capacity in the power sector alone would help increase the country's GDP beyond seven per cent.

Electricity distribution would be made commercially viable within two years and power trading would be opened to private players.

Ms Mehta said the Electricity Bill 2001 was awaiting standing committee clearance.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) was open to buying power from phase I of Dabhol Power Company, Mr Ravi Budhiraja, State Energy Secretary and acting Chairman MSEB, told reporters.

"Informal talks with IDBI are on'', Mr Budhiraja said.

"But the power purchase would depend on the new buyer of the project and the price at which power will be sold'', he said.

The Godbole Committee report will be one of the factors in deciding the new tariff if MSEB decides to buy power from phase I of the 2,184-MW plant.

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