Darkness reigns in Ganjam even after one month of calamity
By Express News Service | Published: 12th November 2013 02:00 PM |
Lakhs of people in Ganjam district are living in darkness even after a month of cyclone Phailin hit the Odisha coast.
Power supply has not been restored to 1.94 lakh consumers in Ganjam district, 1634 consumers in Gajapati, 1494 in Kandhamal and 300 consumers in Boudh district, the damage restoration report of the Government stated.
The delay in restoration of power supply is attributed to lack of funds and shortage of skilled manpower and materials.
The State Government is yet to respond to the financial need of the cash strapped Southern Electricity Supply Company (Southco) for the restoration works.
The company had sought an additional assistance of Rs 65 crore from the Government after utilising the first dose of Rs 12 crore. The Government had released Rs 20 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to the Reliance Energy managed three distribution companies - Southco, Nesco and Wesco.
Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra said the Energy department’s proposal for additional assistance of Rs 65 crore for restoration of electricity has been sent to the office of the Governor for approval.
As per the damage assessment of Southco, minimum requirement for the restoration is about Rs 400 crore. The Reliance Energy Limited (REL) having majority stake in the three distribution companies has not made any financial contribution to the restoration works. The REL has only extended manpower support by mobilising skilled manpower from its Mumbai and Delhi operations.
According to Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL), the total damage to the transmission and distribution system will be to the tune of Rs 900 crore.
Over 3,100 kms of 11-KV line and 6,460 kms of low transmission (LT) lines of Southco were badly damaged in the cyclone. The utility has so far restored 1,670 kms of 11-KV lines and 2,830 kms of LT lines as on Monday.
Of 8,094 damaged distribution transformers, the company has restored only 3,582 transformers, the report stated.