India may add 78,000 MW in next five years: Montek

India may add 78,000 MW in next five years: Montek

New Delhi: India may add 78,000 MW of power generation capacity in the five years to March 2012, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.

“We haven’t set the target yet for the 11th Plan, but we are hoping to be able to add about 78,000 megawatts of capacity over the next five years," he said in an interview to the quarterly journal of the international consultancy firm McKinsey.

Noting that the performance of power sector is lagging behind, Ahluwalia said the country has added only 21,000 MW of additional power generation capacity in the 10th Plan as against the target of 40,000 MW.

He further said completion of a large number of ongoing power plants had been delayed and a significant capacity addition would be witnessed in the next two years with the plants going on stream.

The focus, he added, would have to be on increasing the efficiency of distribution system as currently the power utilities do not “collect revenues on something like 34 % of power that’s pumped into the system because of theft and transmission losses".

Referring to the issue of privatisation of distribution system, Ahluwalia said: “If it turns out that Delhi has been enormously successful with this experiment, then I think other states might do the same."

However, he added, privatisation of distribution was a politically sensitive issue and “not something that the central government decides."