Power ministry: Series of false claims, marginal improvements (Special to IANS)

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS/IndiaSpend) “Highest-ever” addition of power-generation capacity (22,566 MW) in a single year; power generation touching the trillion-unit mark; lowest-ever (3.6 percent) power deficit; and a 32-million-tonne increase in coal production.

These are some of the claims made by the ministry of coal and power in its performance report card. However, Factchecker trawled the data and found selective and exaggerated reporting.

1. “Highest-ever” growth in power-generation capacity: If you juggle the data

Claim: 22,566 megawatts (MW) in power-generation capacity, the “highest-ever growth in a single year”, according to the power ministry.

Reality: Comparable capacities were added during 2011-12 (20,502 MW) and 2012-13 (20,623 MW). If you consider the highest-ever growth in “power capacities added” between consecutive years, it actually happened between 2010-11 and 2011-12, when 8,341 MW capacity was added.

2. First time in Indian history, a trillion units: 3.4 percent growth over previous year

Claim: One trillion units of electricity were generated last year; first time in history.

Reality: From 772 billion units of electricity generated during 2009-10 to 967 billion units during 2013-14, power generation rose by about 200 billion units in five years, a growth of 25.4 percent.

So, it required only an additional 33 billion units, or 3.4 percent, to touch the trillion-unit mark.

3. Lowest-ever power deficit: 0.6 percent reduction from previous year

Claim: Deficit reduced to 3.6 percent, “the lowest ever”.

Reality: The deficit declined from around 10 percent during 2006-10 to 4.2 percent in 2013-14. The power deficit of 4.2 percent in 2013-14 was the lowest until then. So, the power deficit declining to 3.6 percent during 2014-15 was a reduction of 0.6 percent compared to the preceding year.

4. “Significant increase” in wind-energy capacity: Higher increases in 2010-11 and 2011-12

Claim: Wind-energy capacity installed during 2014-15 was 2,312 MW, compared to 2,083 MW during 2013-14, a “significant increase”.

Reality: Higher capacities were installed during consecutive years, 2010-11 (2,349 MW) and 2011-12 (3,196 MW).

5. “Significant increase” in small hydro projects (SHP): 101 MW in 2011-12

Claim: Capacity installed during 2014-15 was 251 MW compared to 171 MW during 2013-14 – a “significant increase”.

Reality: SHP capacities added during 2011-12 and 2012-13 were 352 MW and 237 MW, respectively

6. Four-year record in coal production: Not according to data given to parliament by a minister.

Claim: Increase of 32 million tonnes in 2014-15; output at 494 MT in 2014-15, compared to 462 MT in 2013-14; “increase higher than increase in previous four years”.

Reality: The production figure of 462 MT during 2013-14 does not match data tabled by the coal minister in Parliament on July 17, 2014. That data puts coal production during 2013-14 at 566 MT and not 462 MT.

More significantly, coal production of 494 MT in 2014-15 is less than the coal production during each of the previous five years (2009-10 to 2013-14).

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform. Factchecker is a part of IndiaSpend. Manoj K can be contacted at webmaster@indiaspend.org)

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