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In this Idea Exchange, Veerappa Moily, who handles the Power and Corporate Affairs portfolios, speaks about the power situation in the country, sedition law and why "it's not possible to unbundle" the Koondankulam project. The session was moderated by Senior Assistant Editor Maneesh Chhibber
Veerappa Moily: The power sector is the soul of the country, it pushes up GDP. From 2007 to 2012, in terms of capacity addition, the private sector has grown in a big way—the state sector has been reduced to 23.43 per cent, the central sector to 21.56 per cent, while the private sector is at 55.02 per cent. That is mainly because the Electricity Act, 2003, introduced reforms dismantling many discoms. As of today, we have a capacity of 1.99 lakh MW and it will rise to 3 lakh MW in the next year.
The black-out crisis of 30-31 July was due to multiple reasons. There was overdrawing from the northern grid and western region. We transmit power through the Grid Corporation of India and frontlines but we have no control over it and we cannot regulate it. We need regulation at the state level. That is why we say independence should be given to the state regulators. After the blackout, I called the chief ministers of states on the northern grid and we discussed how to maintain discipline. Everybody is behaving well now, and that is why I say this will not happen again. The states have problems like the sanction of power projects, transmission lines, etc. We have worked out debt restructuring for them.
There are five grids—north-east, north, east, west and south. We have two frequencies. The southern grid is not integrated with the national grid. As a result, fuel is a problem for the south. Power produced in any other part of country cannot be fed to this grid and the southern states cannot draw power from the national grid. After a review, I found there is one project where the transmission line needs to be connected from Raichur to Sholapur. If that is connected, the southern grid can be integrated with the national grid. Then power produced in Arunachal Pradesh can go to Kanyakumari. This line will be completed by 2013 and it will be synchronised by January 2014. It will be one frequency and that will solve the problem in the country.