Re-starting the power plants which are stranded due to want of fuel is the need of the hour, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.
"The urgent part is that the stranded power plants must be allowed to or (we) have to find a way to produce power," he said.
Quoting reports, he said 8,000 MW capacity is stranded for want of gas and 12,000 MW capacity for want of coal.
"If you can get this 20,000 MW up and running, it equals to one year's target," Chidambaram said.
He said if the government is able to achieve its 12th Plan period (2012-17) target of 88,000 MW it would be a step in the right direction.
"Our aim is that the target for the (12th) Plan period and the year after are achieved. If we are able to create a capacity for every year as planned and bring it on stream that itself would be a major achievement," he added.
The Finance Minister said the government should aim at achieving the 88,000 MW target for the current plan period.
"In the last plan period (2007-12) we achieved under 60,000 MW, this period we have set ourselves a target of 88,000 MW, we have to achieve that...
"...in the first year, private sector seem to have brought some capacity on stream, NTPC seems to have got some capacity on stream, we must ensure that it (capacity) comes," he said.
The minister assured the government is making all efforts to address the issues of coal and gas shortage.
The Coal Ministry had earlier said it expects power utilities to sign FSAs (Fuel Supply Agreement) with state-run Coal India by November-end.
"The attempt now is to get the FSAs signed for coal or 'tapering linkage' is provided to the plants. We are pushing that," he said.
Tapering Linkage is the short-term linkage provided to those coal consumers who have been allocated captive coal blocks for meeting the coal requirements of their end use plants where the production of coal does not meet the requirement.
On gas, he said, "We are pushing for more production of gas but that is a little more complicated problem. Once the gas comes we want the 8,000 MW which is stranded, producing power using gas," Chidambaram added.