Continuous fall in output triggers request as Ratnagiri plant output threatened

Falling gas production from Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 fields has led the Maharashtra government to ask the Centre to take over the wells and declare those as national assets. The state has resorted to this move as it fears that a continuing decline in gas production would severely affect power generation at Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL)’s plant, formerly Dabhol power project, which depends on the D6 wells for gas.

Issues like amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, relating to section 11 invoked by states to curb open access; single buyer model; appraisal of regulators, etc are likely to dominate the discussion between power minister Veerappa Moily and the Forum of Regulators (FOR), a representative body of power regulators, on August 29.

The power ministry has recommended the inclusion of a new section, 89 (6), to carry out annual review of regulatory commissions by a multi-disciplinary body, which would also report to the appropriate governments for necessary action. A new section, 153, would enable state governments to constitute special courts and mobile police stations as may be necessary for speedy trial of offences.

The grid failures that resulted in power outages across 21 states on July 30 and 31 have led to a renewed focus on hydro capacity addition, which can help address demand-supply issues.

The share of hydro power to the country’s overall power generation capacity has fallen from 45 per cent in 1980 to 20 per cent. A report by a committee probing the grid failures, headed by Central Electricity Authority Chairman A S Bakshi, stated over-drawing by states despite repeated warnings, the consequent over-loading of lines taking power from the western to the northern region and voltage relays were some reasons behind the grid failures.

The two-member panel asked by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to probe the twin national grid collapses on

July 30 and 31 has said prevention of such occurences requires strict adherence to grid discipline. A CERC official told Business Standard the report was given last Thursday. It has blamed underdrawal by the western region states and overdrawal by the northern and eastern states for the collapses, affecting power supply for hours in 21 states.

Monday’s grid collapse took place barely one-and-a-half months after the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), in a scathing order, had directed states, especially from the northern grid, to strictly follow the grid code and discipline to avoid overdrawal of power.

Further, CERC, currently in the process of issuing another order against overdrawal of power, is exploring an option of opening radial lines to curb such instances. CERC chairman Pramod Deo said: “CERC is currently seized of the issue of overdrawal of power by states.”

People from villages affected by the Navi Mumbai international airport have demanded the government and project developers to provide them 40 per cent of the developed land as compensation.

Of the total 2,020 hectares (ha) of land required for the airport project, nearly 1,400 ha are in the possession of City and Industrial Development Corp (Cidco), the nodal agency for the project.

The Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has put in place a plan to mitigate potential corruption in awarding forest and environmental licences, to hasten the entire process.

The plan aims opening of regional offices, creation of a decision-support database and formulation of a policy to monitor compliance. It also aims at elimination of discretion in the processing of forest clearance proposals and post-project monitoring of forestry clearance conditions.

Complaints that Mahyco is exploiting farmers, promoting black marketing and ignoring rules have led the Maharashtra government to call into question the agri biotechnology company’s licence to prod

After the prolonged agitation against the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu, which is therefore behind schedule, Nuclear Power Corporation says it is trying to reach out to people to allay their apprehensions.

The government had in October 2009 given in-principle approval to develop new projects at Kovvada in Andhra (3,000 Mw), Chhaya Mithi Virdi in Gujarat (2,200 Mw), Gorakhpur in Haryana (1,400 Mw), Chutka in Madhya Pradesh (1,400 Mw), Jaitapur in Maharashtra (3,300 Mw) and Haripur in West Bengal (2,000 Mw).

A widening gap between governments and the country’s power regulators on rates and related issues has prompted the Centre to propose a legal amendment so as to facilitate review of the performance