Odisha seeks Rs 4,248 crore from Power ministry for resilient infrastructure
Energy dept has submitted proposal for strengthening cyclone resilient power infra
BHUBANESWAR: The state government has submitted a proposal worth Rs 4,248 crore to the Ministry of Power for strengthening disaster resilient power infrastructure in eight coastal districts of Odisha under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).
After initial reluctance to accept the state’s proposal as the central scheme does not permit financial assistance to private distribution companies (discoms), the Power Ministry has reportedly agreed to consider it following assurance from the state government that the assets to be created under the programme will be in its books of account and there will be no tariff impact on the consumers.
The Energy department submitted an action plan and a detailed project report amounting to Rs 6,284 crore to improve the reliability and resilience in the power distribution network, especially in the coastal districts covered by TPCODL, TPNODL and TPSODL. The proposal has the approval of the state cabinet.
While a major part of the proposal amounting to Rs 4,248 crore (67 per cent) of the total project proposal is towards creation of cyclone resilient power infrastructure, the state government has posed Rs 1,510 crore for upgradation of distribution infrastructure, Rs 428 crore smart metering and Rs 97 crore for project management agency (PMA).
Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb and additional chief secretary (energy) Nikunja Dhal submitted the proposal to the Union Power Minister RK Singh during their visit to New Delhi in the first week of June.
“Our proposal is under evaluation of the monitoring committee of the Ministry of Power (MoP). They have raised certain queries which have been quickly complied with by the Energy department. It appears that the MoP may not consider components other than the cyclone resilient infrastructure,” sources in the Energy department told TNIE.
The RDSS has two major components. The first component includes financial support for prepaid smart metering and system metering, and upgradation of the distribution infrastructure. In the second component, the scheme support includes training, capacity building and other enabling activities. The scheme is applicable only to state-owned discoms. Odisha does not qualify as it has privatised the distribution business.
The state government has proposed to strengthen 33 KV and 11 KV lines through underground cabling and spur line with rebar lacing poles which can withstand cyclone, conversion of outdoor primary sub-station (33/11 KV) to indoor sub-stations, elevated plinth mounted distribution sub-station above flood level. It is also proposed to convert all existing low transmission overhead lines with bare conductor to aerial bunch (AB) cable.