Karnataka keen to procure power from Odisha

Reported by Sandeep Pattnaik

Bhubaneswar, Jan 13:

sagging power lines

Karnataka is keen to procure more power from Odisha, considered to be a power surplus state, its Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee said during his visit to the state on Monday.

“We are aiming to procure more power from Odisha, which generates it power mostly from thermal and hydro sources,” Mukherjee said while discussing with state officials here on Monday.

Karnataka, which draws power mostly from the renewable energy [RE] sources, i.e. wind and solar, is facing an acute power crisis. The gross daily requirement of industries and domestic consumers in the state is about 20,000 MW.

Odisha’s average daily demand for electricity is about 2850 MW while the peak period requirement stands at 3500 MW as against a demand of around 20,000 MW in Karnataka, an official of the state Energy department revealed to OST.

“Procuring power from Odisha will be cheaper for a state like Karnataka, which draws most of its requirement from RE sources, the costliest among all sources of power generation,” the official said adding, “The per unit cost of power from RE is around Rs 11/unit as against Rs 2.30 per unit from thermal/hydro power in Odisha.”

As per the latest Central Electricity Authority estimates [CEA], 17 states will face power shortage this fiscal [2013-14] with Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka set to be the worst-hit. The CEA report shows around 23.2% power deficit in Karnataka this year, while Odisha is projected to witness shortage of around 0.8 percent.

Odisha has pioneered in implementing the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZM), in comparison to other two coastal states in the country, noted the Karnataka Chief Secretary during the meeting.

The project was started on a pilot basis in three states – including Odisha, West Bengal & Gujarat -with a state contribution of 10% and the rest 90% from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

In Odisha, the project is for a period of 5 years starting from September 2010. The Department of Forests & Environment, Government of Odisha is the nodal department for implementation of the project in Odisha. It has been conceived to facilitate the development and implementation of an integrated management strategy for the coastal zone, including livelihood generation in the coastal areas, reducing pollution and afforestation as the prime objectives.

Mukherjee was all praise for the initiatives taken by the Odisha government to successfully run the project with cooperation from the NGOs and social activists during the discussion with the state officials on Monday.

“Karnataka wants to replicate the pilot project on similar lines as that of Odisha,” Mukherjee told officials here.

He also commended the way the state has implemented the Forest Rights Act, 2006 in protecting the rights of scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers in Odisha, despite a slew of projects coming up in these areas.

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