PANAJI: Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday decided to lift restrictions on power supply to industries that were imposed to cope with a sharp rise in power demand, and decided to instead buy additional power from the open market.
“I am happy that the power minister met the chief minister and the CM was kind enough to immediately agree (to buy power from the open market) because industrialisation is required. The existing industries have to survive well, without incurring additional cost that will make them unviable,” Goa industries minister Mauvin Godinho said.
Earlier the Goa Chapter of the Confederation of Industries Association as well as the Goa State Industries Association expressed their disappointment over the forced shutdown the industry was forced to endure and instead offered to pay a higher price for power if only to ensure that it is delivered without interruption.
“I am happy that the industries have come forward and said we will pay the difference. They know that power is the cheapest in Goa when you compare it to other states. So even if they pay marginally little more, out of the direct power purchased from the open market, still it will be less (than other states),” Godinho said.
The CII Goa head Deepankar Bargali was scathing in his remarks on the power situation in Goa.
“CII Goa has in the past made several recommendations to the government with regards to improvement of basic infrastructure for the industry that includes uninterrupted power supply as one of them. CII Goa stated it has been noticed that no progress has been made in this regard till date. Fluctuation and variations in frequency and voltage and unplanned power shutdowns have led to the industry facing huge losses in terms of time and money due to outage/surge in currents causing damage of very expensive machinery, and raw material in the process-based industries,” Bargali said in a statement.
Goa faces a shortfall of 120-150 MW during peak hours, between 6pm and 11pm. However, on account of the higher price of power sold in the open market during these hours, the state has been forcing a shutdown on industrial consumers.
Goa’s former power minister Nilesh Cabral said that Goa’s peak power demand could rise to 900 MW a day during the month of May if everyone’s power requirements were to be met.
“Right now, we are suffering because there is no power intake. The common man is not suffering, but the industry is suffering. Everyday there was a 20 MW shut down for industry,” Cabral who wasn’t handed back the power portfolio in Sawant’s second term in power. The portfolio has instead gone to Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, an ally of the BJP.