Update on dams, options & related issues sandrp issue four june 2002



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AGRICULTURE



NO to Corporate Farming: Agriculture Minister Union Agriculture Minister has ruled out introduction of corporate farming. “We cannot allow corporate farming because it will lead to displacement of millions of farmers in the country,” he said. He said subsidies given to other sector far exceed those given to the agriculture sector. (BUSINESS LINE 210402)
Foodgrains Production The Agriculture ministry has put the likely foodgrains production at 211.17 MT in 2001-02 compared to 195.92 MT in 2000-01. Sugarcane production is likely to be 289.4 MT in 2001-02 compared to 299.2 MT in 2000-01. (BUSINESS STANDARD 060402)
Cut in farm sector outlay The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture has recommended that the budgetary allocation for the farm sector not be cut. In the 30th report, the committee has observed that, “continuously for years together, less than 50 % of the required amount is being allocated by the Planning Commission.” The committee said the Dept of Agriculture had sought an outlay of Rs 182.538 B for the 9th five year plan, but was provided Rs 78.137 B, only 43 % of the demand. Dring the 10th plan, as against a demand of Rs 250 B, the sector was given Rs 130 B, 52.8 % of the demand. Against the projected demand of Rs 51.64 B for 2002-03, the department was given Rs 21.67 B, only 41.96 % of the demand. (THE HINDU-D 280402)
Loan recovery in agriculture high According to National Institute of Bank Management, the loan recovery in agriculture is 66.8%, much higher than about 50% in other sectors. (BUSINESS STANDARD 230402)
New scheme for East India The centre has launched a new scheme "On-Farm Water Management for increasing crop production in East India" in all the districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Mizoram and Orissa besides 35 districts of East Uttar Pradesh and nine districts of W Bengal. An amount of Rs 150 M has been released during 2001-02 to NABARD as the share of the govt.’s assistance under the scheme. An allocation of Rs 115 M has been proposed during 2002-03. (PIB PR 120402)
MSP for Rabi crops The Central Cabinet hiked the minimum support price for wheat by Rs 10 per quintal to Rs 620. The Cabinet also hiked MSP for rapeseed and mustard, safflower, gram and masur by Rs 100 per quintal each. The Commission for Agricultural Cost and Price had recommended a freeze on MSP for wheat in order to encourage farmers to go for corp diversification. (THE INDIAN EXPRESS-D 030402)
Chhatisgarh attempt at crop diversification To promote crop diversification, the state govt. has announced that free irrigation water given to any farmer willing to grow crop other than paddy and no water would be given to farmers growing paddy this summer and if paddy is found to be grown using canal irrigation, such farmers would be charged double water rates. (THE HINDU 040402)

SUGAR



Sugar Exports (= water exports) In 2001-02, by Oct. 2001 India has exported 1.042 MT of sugar valured at Rs 12.36 B compared to export of 0.331 MT in the previous year valued at Rs 4.28 B. (TRIBUNE 110402)
Bihar Sugar Industry In 1942-3, Bihar had 32 sugar units out of a total of 140 units across the country. Now Bihar has 10 units out of country’s total of 495 units. Then Bihar contributed 40% of national sugar production, compared to 2% now. Some of the reasons for the decline include water logging; poor transport, poor irrigation & poor power supply. (BUSINESS LINE 150402)
Sugar Decontrol The Sugar industry has welcomed the Union Finance Minister’s move cutting the levy obligation of the sugar industry as a step towards total decontrol. With mounting sugar stocks, supply being higher than demand & low prices in international market, sugar industry is facing a challenge. (BUSINESS LINE 010302)
India to stay in global sugar club The Union Cabinet decided that India should continue to be a member of the International Sugar Agreement 1992, which has been extended till 2003. Being the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar, India intends to increase its share in the global trade. India has been a member of ISA since its inception in 1937, first as importer till 1942 & as exporter since 1958. (BUSINESS STANDARD 030402)
Maharashtra sugar coops to set new trend Some 30 Sugar Cooperatives (20% of total units) in Maharashtra are now moving towards reducing the proportion of sugar they produce and instead, opting for conversion into ethanol to a substantial extent. Ethanol is currently being touted as the best means to reduce import bill of petroleum products. (THE HINDU-D 230402)
India, Brazil in Technology sharing pact for Ethanol India signed an MoU with Brazil for sharing the know-how to blend ethanol with petrol or diesel. According to the Union Minister for Petroleum, India has started 5 % blending of ethanol in petrol in phases, beginning with eight sugarcane growing states in the first phase. In the second phase, blended petrol would be made available throughout the country. In the third phase, ethanol content in petrol would be increased to 10 %. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 090402)

POWER OPTIONS



The great power robbery According to a study done by Prayas Energy Group large scale power theft is rampant among industrial consumers who avail of high tension and extra high tension supply. The study suggests that the ambitious objective of 100 % metering should be deferred in favour of more pragmatic, cost effective and manageable solution, namely metering HT/EHT consumers immediately. Yet policy makers tutored by their reform consultants, would have us believe that theft occurs only in rural areas and among urban slum dwellers. In order to target thefts, they have been zealously advising the SEB/utilities to undertake “Total Energy Audit” and install 100 % metering – a virtual impossibility in such a vast country with several million connections. The study based on data submitted by the utilities to their respective regulatory commission, shows that the industries using HT and EHT lines are involved in large-scale thefts. Even a small percentage of losses in HT/EHT supply can mean a substantial loss of revenue to the utilities, owing to the large quantum of power consumed by industry. Prayas studied states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka. (Prayas study; FRONTLINE 290302)

  • Out of Rs 1127 B worth of electricity produced in the country, only 55% that is electricity worth Rs 620 B is billed and only 41% that is Rs 460 B is collected, says Union Power Minister. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 260402)


Posh colonies at the top in power theft The DVB data shows that the volume of power theft is much more in posh colonies than in the lower and middle class colonies. DVB’s Enforcement Wing says the power theft in one posh house in south Delhi equals that in 500 houses in resettlement colonies. In March this year, out of 546 detected cases of power theft, 109 were from the posh colonies where the percentage of total power theft came to around 53 %. In Sept 2001, residents of posh colonies were involved in 75 % of the total power theft caught. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 270302, 200402)
Incentive for efficiency In the new conditions under Memorandum of Agreement that Union Power Minister wants to sign with the reforming states, if the SEB is able to improve its revenue generation without adding to capacity or tariff hikes, it will be eligible for a matching grant from the Centre. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 110302)
Bhakra Power Capacity Up Renovation has led to increase in capacity of Bhakhra Right Bank Power House from 660 MW to 785 MW. The original plant with 600 (120 X 6) MW was upgraded to 660 MW in 1980 through the help of the original Russian firm. The cost of the renovation was Rs 9.2 B, i.e. Rs 7 M per mw. The work on upgradation of the five units of Left Bank Power House, remaining one unit of Ganguwal and Kotla Power Houses and two units at Pong Dam, would be taken up during the 10th five year plan to add 108 MW capacity.

  • R&M Potential of 20 000 MW According to Union Power Minister, through R&M of existing power projects, an additional capacity of 20 000 MW can be added at a cost of Rs 100-120 B. MD of Powerplant Performance Improvement Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture promoted by BHEL and Siemens AG says, “There is 20 000 MW of installed capacity out there locked up in aged and rundown plans which are delivering anywhere from zero to 50% of their nameplate capacity. Much of this capacity can be brought back to a PLF of 75% or above through a process of rehabilitation. There are many advantages of such renewal. Execution would be quicker. Investment needed was just Rs 10 to 15 M per MW as compared to Rs 40-60 M for new plants, and social and environmental costs would be lower. That this is possible is shown in the renewal results of Durgapur and Kothangundem plant. (TRIBUNE 170302, THE HINDU 250402)


Kerala Plan Panel for Small Hydro The State Planning Board has called for a special priority for tapping the state’s small hydel sources. (BUSINESS LINE 080302)
CFL Potential in Kerala A study done by the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology reveals that Compact Fluorescent Lamps can be an important component of load side management to substantially bring down peak hour power requirement. If half a million (out of total of 4.5 M) households in Kerala replace 5 bulbs of 100 W by CFLs of 18 W each, then the annual saving in energy would be 292 MU and would be equivalent to a generating capacity of 73 MW. The recently approved state renewable energy policy has made the use of CFLs mandatory in new hospitals, hotels, govt. offices and offices of PSUs. (BUSINESS LINE 010402)
Policy on renewables The Minister of state for non-conventional sources of energy announced that a draft national renewable energy policy is at the final stage of formulation and will be announced shortly. He also stressed the need for incorporating a provision on the electricity regulation act for making it compulsory to produce minimum 10% of the total generation capacity from renewable energy sources. He has urged the finance minister to retain 100% depreciation enjoyed by the renewable energy sector and not bring it down to 60% as proposed in the budget. (BUSINESS LINE 230302)
Gharat potential Some half a million multi purpose gharat (micro hydro) are on the verge of destruction for lack of govt. attention. These can be used to produce some 2500 MW of power at the rate of 5 KW per gharat. The govt. seems to have no definite policy about sustaining and upgrading the gharats. By proper repair and upgradation, the gharats can also add about 20% to the irrigated area in Uttaranchal. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 190302)

  • Call to keep watermills running Dr Anil Joshi of Jalandolan has expressed shock over the Uttaranchal govt.’s move to demolish some watermills and cover the canals in a bid to widen the roads in Dehradun. There were about 70 000 watermills in the state out of which only half are functional and there is need to systematically rejuvenate, repair and modernize to turn the watermills into micro hydel stations. (THE HINDU 270402)


Cogeneration potential As per the draft Sugar Development Fund (amendment) bill 2002 placed in Loksabha, an estimated 3500 MW power can be generated by the sugar factories with Bagasse as the feedstock. Till now only around 212 MW generation capacity has been installed and 245 MW capacity is under implementation. (BUSINESS LINE 22/03/02)
Energy saving potential India’s energy saving potential is estimated at around 30 000 MW of which 15 000 MW is in the industrial sector alone. (BUSINESS LINE 230402)
Bhoruka plans Bhoruka Power Corp, a leading small hydro developer plans to invest Rs 3 B in the next 30 months to increase its installed capacity from present 33 MW and 22 MW under implementation to 100 MW. It plans to access debt fund to the tune of Rs 2.1 B from IREDA, IDBI and IDFC. (INDIAN EXPRESS 110302)
Small power projects 201 sites for small HEPs with combined installed capacity of 1207.27 MW have been identified in J&K. As per the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, about 4096 sites have been identified so far across the country for generating 10171 MW. The broad estimates of potential available from SHP up to 25 MW has been assessed at 15 000 MW. In 1989, when the subject of small hydro up to 3 MW capacity was transferred to MNES, the total installed capacity from SHP projects was 63 MW which has now risen to 219 MW. The MNES has set goal of 2000 MW capacity addition from SHP by 2012. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 200302)
Wind-diesel project in Bengal The World’s third and Asia’s first wind-diesel hybrid project has been inaugurated in Sagar Islands in the Sundarnabs of W Bengal. The Rs 60 M project is being implemented by the W Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency in two phases with assistance from the Canadian govt., which has given around Rs 15 M of the Rs 20 M cost of the first phase. The remaining funding is coming from the MNES and the State govt. The project has an initial capacity of 175x2 kWh using the diesel mode and 110 kWh of wind power capacity. (BUSINESS LINE 040402)
Plan to add 6 000 MW wind power India plans to add 6 000 MW to its wind power capacity over the next decade. With the present level of wind power installed capacity of over 1 500 MW, India is among the top five countries in the world. The Minister of State said that already over 3 400 MW installed capacity is based on renewable energy sources and India has plans for capacity addition of 10 000 MW from renewables by the year 2012. India ranks first in biomass gasification. In the field of solar photovoltaic, India ranks fifth and in biogas application India ranks second in the world. (PIB PR 020402)
REC, IDBI to fund small power projects REC and the IDBI are putting together a scheme to finance small power projects. The plan envisages funding power plants of about 25 MW, each of which would cost about Rs 1B to 1.2 B for completion. IDBI has alone cancelled sanctions to about 15 large power projects for failure to achieve financial closure. (BUSINESS LINE-D 160302)

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