Ironically, Vidarbha has always been power surplus region and by 2014 Maharashtra, too, is expected to be one. It is clear that the new power plants won’t cater to the state but only other parts of the country. Production is on in six plants in Vidarbha. In 2010-11, the number of proposed power plants was 85. However, the list has touched 132 now. Several are in process of acquiring land, permission for water and coal blocks, and have applied for letter of assurance (LoA).
“Vidarbha already has enough power units to meet electricity requirement of the people. It seems the government is virtually dumping power plants here at the cost of Vidarbha to benefit other parts of Maharashtra,” said Sudhir Paliwal, power sector expert. Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) requires 16,500MW to fulfil its requirement. The power availability is between 14,500MW and 15,000MW.
The 132 plants will need around 1 lakh acre farm land and the proposed power plants will burn 18 lakh tonne coal per day turning “Vidarbha into an ash dump” .It will also lead to rise in temperatures by 3 to 4 degrees. Temperature in several cities in the region has already touched 48 degrees in peak summer.