Veerappa Moily file photo
Union Power Minister M Veerappa Moily on Sunday said the southern energy corridor (linking with the north) is expected to be operational from first quarter of 2014 as work on it is being expedited and taken up on a war-footing.
On Karnataka's demand for coal, gas and more power in view of drought conditions in most parts of the state, he said at some places, power lines of central grid needed to be put up on small stretches ranging from 2 km to 5 km, but there are objections over land.
"State government should intervene and take keen interest (to resolve the land issue). If the lines are put up, I feel it can get 1000 MW to 1500 MW within a week. The state should do its job", said Mr Moily, a former Karnataka Chief Minister.
In addition, he said efforts should be made by the state to stop part of the water flowing into the sea from Linganamakki reservoir. "If they do that, 90 per cent of the power problems can be solved. Proper administration is required (at the state level)".
Asked about the "debate" over possible replacement of President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), G Parameshwara, with names of S M Krishna and Shyamnur Shivashankarappa who belong to the major communities of Vokkaliga and Lingayats, respectively, doing the rounds, Moily said Congress does not choose its leader on the basis of caste, adding, there is no change at the top in KPCC.
He said the people of the state desire a change from the "corrupt" BJP government and its policy of "favouritism" and "caste administration", and are seeking a "stable government".
"We (the Congress) are preparing ourselves," he said.
Addressing the need to strengthen the distribution system and cutting high AT&D losses, Mr Moily said he will soon convene a meeting of states' electricity regulatory commission chairmen in New Delhi to discuss measures.
The Centre needs to take many steps in view of high demand for power, he told to reporters on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore, adding that it is necessary for states to strengthen the distribution system.
"If the distribution system in states is not strengthened, whatever power we supply through the (national) grid, ultimately the distribution system of respective states cannot absorb it", he said.
Mr Moily said he would convene a meeting of the regulators in the state level shortly, "may be within 20 days".
He said almost all state electricity boards are "financially not viable".
"Even if the power is generated in respective states, the states are not in a position to purchase it," he added.
The Minister said the Aggregate Transmission and Distribution (AT&D) losses in states range between 12.5 per cent and 40 per cent. "Ultimately, it should not exceed 7.5 per cent. Why should it be (so high)?"
"Average (AT&D losses) in the nation is 27 per cent. We need to curtail that."
He said a number of private generating companies, particularly in urban areas, are in a position to maintain AT&D losses at 7.5 per cent. "That means, so much of power can be conserved. I am addressing all these problems, one by one".