Govt urges high court to lift power ban

| 16 October 1999 10:07 IST

Over year-long deadlock in the industrial and commercial sector in the tourist state may be removed if the high court now listens positively to the request made by the state to release power, lifting the ban.

The ban was imposed by the Goa bench of the Mumbai high court in May last year as the state was plunged into power crisis with allowing of series of power guzzlers when the state does not generate any electricity.

It banned not only new high tension industrial connections but even the low tension ones pertaining to commercial purpose and even illumination, except during the festivals and national days.

As a result, the pending list got swollen to 2328 establishments which is still waiting for power connection of over 51 MW. Goa draws only 210 MW from Maharashtra and Karnataka with huge transmission losses recorded in transit.

In spite of trying to arrest power thefts and also with the commissioning of 40 MW private power plant by the Reliance Salgaoncar Pvt Ltd Company in July, the tourist state is still crying for power. It had obviously resulted into bringing industrial development to a grinding halt.

In an affidavit filed before the high court, the state has now requested to allow the electricity department to dispose 2263 applications for low tension in agriculture, commercial and motive power works, which requires only 10 MW of electricity.

"It would at least satisfy the power needs of small shops, kiosks, restaurants, hotels, small industries and poultry farms. Several industries are also facing losses as production has not begun but the loan payments", points out R A Ghali, the chief electrical engineer.

Both the LT and HT industrial categories can be taken care of by supplying 29.77 MW of the 40 MW of power purchased from the RSPCL. The department has also sought court permission to release connections up to 10 MW for the 6 applicants requiring 21.52 MW, in a chronological order.

Claiming that the load capacity of total consumption at peak hours has never exceeded 195 MW despite the total connected load of 814 MW, the department still claims that power crisis would not emerge even if all the applicants are given connections, in spite of a shortfall of 11 MW of power.

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