CHENNAI: Setting right the power crisis and making Tamil Nadu a surplus power State was a vow taken by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa during her campaign for 2011 Assembly elections.
Immediately after assuming office, she has taken a number of measures and revived many power projects which were put on the back-burner. More importantly, she has set a time frame for ending the crisis.
The CM has been periodically reviewing the progress of work on the new power projects and on May 16 when she stepped into the second year of her tenure, promised the State Assembly that the power shortage would be set right very soon. Thanks to serious and concerted efforts taken by Jayalalithaa, a power surplus Tamil Nadu will not be a faraway dream.
In February, the CM announced in the State Assembly that Tamil Nadu would be getting an additional 2,550 MW of power by this October. Of this, 1,950 mw by June and 600 mw by October through various projects. By mid-2013, there would not be any power cuts in the State, she assured.
The State would have got 3,000 MW of additional power, provided the previous DMK regime had completed various power projects initiated by the AIADMK regime between 2001-06, Jayalalithaa said.
The CM said North Chennai Thermal Power Extension Project-I (600 MW) would start generation in June. Its second unit (600 MW) would be operationalised in October.
The Vallur Thermal Power Project (500 MW), a joint venture of NTPC and the TNEB should have been completed by October, 2010. However, due to the mismanagement of the previous DMK regime, the project got delayed. After the AIADMK regime took over, the project was expedited and it would be commissioned soon.
Similarly, the second unit of the Vallur project, should have started generation by March, 2011. But it too got delayed, again due to the lethargic attitude of previous government. Due to the expeditious steps taken by this government, the unit would be commissioned in June.
Further, the third unit of the Vallur project (500 MW) would start generation in February, 2013.
Jayalalithaa had said the third unit of the Mettur Thermal Power Project, which should have started generation in September 2011, got delayed due to the snail pace of works during the DMK regime.
To augment the power position using alternative fuel, the CM recently announced that a 500 MW LNG- based power project would be set up at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore utilising the gas to be received through the Kochi-Bangalore LNG pipeline network. Besides, a Floating Storage Degasification Unit would be set up along the coastal areas of southern districts at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.