VISAKHAPATNAM: After overcoming several hurdles, the underground cabling system for power distribution in the city is making progress. The technical detailed project report for Package-1 works covering five 33/11 KV sub-stations, has been received by the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) on November 21 and forwarded to World Bank for review. If everything falls in line, the authorities plan to invite tenders for execution of Package-1 works in January.
In the aftermath of the cyclone Hudhud in October last year, the entire power distribution network went haywire and the APEPDCL fought all odds to restore power supply. However, the government learnt lessons from the cyclone and decided to develop a disaster resilient power distribution network under the Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project (APDRP).
The World Bank Agreed to finance about Rs 1,500 crore for the APDRP in June this year covering projects of APEPDCL, GVMC, VUDA, Panchayat Raj, Roads and Buildings and Forest departments. Among these departments, the APEPDCL is the first department to get its procurement plan approved by the World Bank in July this year.
Of the World Bank funds, about Rs 720 crore were allocated for building resilient electrical network and the EPDCL was appointed the Project Implementation Agency (PIA). It has been decided to cover 33/11 KV sub-stations numbering 21 in Visakhapatnam in phases from the sea towards hills.
“The aim is to convert existing overhead power distribution system to underground cabling system. We are working as per the approved schedule for implementing the project,” said a senior official of the projects wing at the discom. As per the World Bank approved schedule, the project implementation was initiated in June this year and it would be completed by September 2020.
Besides sending the technical DPR for Package-1 works to the World Bank for review, the APEPDCL authorities are making efforts to complete the technical DPR for three packages covering the remaining 16 sub-stations by month-end.
Simultaneously, the selection of environmental consulting firms is expected to be finalised by the end of November. As per the schedule, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Package-1 works will be completed by January 5.
The approval for DPR and ESIA from the World Bank for these works is expected by January 20 which would enable the APEPDCL authorities to invite tenders for Package-1 works in the same month and commence works in May 2016. Activities pertaining to three remaining packages will commence with a gap of a month each.
“Though the World Bank has set a deadline of September 2020, we are hopeful to complete the works by the end of 2018,” said another official.