Senior Congress leader and Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut, who is at the forefront to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a number of issues, for a change is not averse to becoming ‘nirbhar’ on the word popularised by it.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been repeatedly making a case for atmanirbhar Bharat, Raut has resolved to make Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) ‘Atmanirbhar’ in reliable, quality and uninterrupted power supply to meet its ever increasing demand.
Raut revealed his atmanirbhar strategy on Tuesday after visiting Adani Electricity Management Institute following the power outage and failure of the Mumbai islanding system on October 12. He had visited Tata Power’s Trombay plant yesterday and made a strong case for increasing the generation capacity, transmission and distribution systems and revamping the Mumbai islanding system.
“MMR is the engine of the state's economy and it needs electricity to run at full capacity. Therefore, the energy department is implementing a strategy to make Mumbai and MMR atmanirbhar (self-sufficient) in electricity. The power failure that took place on October 12 can’t be avoided unless Mumbai and MMR become atmanirbhar,” said Dr Raut. He added that making Mumbai and MMR self-sufficient is necessary, as it has a population of 4.64 crore people with 1.2 crore electricity connections. With the upcoming development of data centres and use of electric vehicles, more and more power is needed.
Dr Raut has directed Adani Transmission to execute the Kharghar-Vikhroli transmission line and construct a 440 KV transmission substation at Vikhroli, which will enhance Mumbai’s power supply by 1,000 mw. In addition, Adani Transmission is also executing a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line to bring 1,000 mw from Kudus in Palghar district to Aarey Colony in north Mumbai. The minister noted that additional power availability will help meet 5,000 mw of power demand in Mumbai in due course of time.
Further, Dr Raut strongly emphasised the need for improvement in coordination and communication amongst public and private generation, transmission and distribution companies, especially in the event of grid collapse and subsequent power tripping. He announced that his department has taken a decision to allow the representatives of these companies to sit in the State Load Dispatch Centre at Kalwa in order to increase communication for improvement in power system and early restoration of power after outage.