MALKANGIRI: In the last 14 years, the Department of Energy has spent over Rs40 crore in maintaining a defunct mini powerhouse project in Malkangiri. The six MW Gompakonda mini powerhouse, having two 3 MW capacity units, was set up in 2005-06 at the Maoist infested Gompakonda panchayat under Kalimela block limits at the cost of Rs4.56 crore.
It was set up by Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OPHC) Limited as a part of the Bariniput-based Upper Kolab Hydro Electric Project in Koraput district.
Although the powerhouse functioned for a few years, it was soon rendered defunct due to technical fault. Kolab project authorities said an amount of Rs35.78 crore has been spent by the department from 2006 till 2019 in repair work of the power house but it has yielded no result. The department has also spent Rs5.4 crore on watch and ward of the defunct unit till date. Annually, it pays nearly Rs30 lakh to 32 contractual employees who have been hired through an outsourcing agency to watch and ward the unit till Government takes a final call on disposing it, said Upper Kolab Hydro Electric Project head MR Biswal.
Based on a report of the Kolab project’s technical committee, proposal for disposal of the defunct unit was sent to the State Government in 2008 and it has been pending since then. Even if Government decides to sell the unit, it will not recover the money that it spent on the project, OHPC sources said. Senior BJP leader Balabhadra Majhi said those who are responsible for faulty design of the power house should be taken into task. “This expenditure on a defunct project is a wastage of public money”, he added.
Rs 35.78 crore has been spent by the department from 2006 till 2019 in repair work of the power house but it has yielded no result Rs`5.4 crore spent on watch and ward of the defunct unit till date