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Govt to stop maintenance work to avoid power-cut

 Amid a statewide hue and cry over the undeclared power cuts during peak summer, Odisha government decided to stop repair and maintenance work of grid stations till arrival of monsoon.

"There is no shortage of power in the state. We are self-sufficient so far power generation is concerned. While the state's requirement of electricity is 4300 MW, we generate 4500 MW. Therefore, load shedding is not due to power scarcity," energy minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told reporters here while highlighting his department's achievement during last three years.

Claiming that power cut is made in certain places due to repair and maintenance activities, the minister said: "We have decided to stop such renovation works till monsoon. Chief Minister has directed the energy department to address to the peoples need."

While Mallick blamed repair and maintenance work as the culprit behind the power cuts, the people at Keonjhar town today put a garland of shoes on an official of North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Limited (NESCO) protesting load shedding.

Mallick, however, said the people should understand that the state government was committed to provide quality power to the people round the clock. "We are committed to provide quality electricity to all houses in the state by 2019," the minister said adding that of 47,677 villages as per the 2011 Census, 668 villages are yet to get electricity. The state will ensure that power reaches all houses by 2019.

Asked Chief Minister's earlier commitment to provide electricity to all villages by May, 2017, Mallick said of the 668 villages, 406 are located in forested areas where solar power provision would be made. In some cases forest right act also causes delay. However, all problems would be solved by December 18.

The minister said the state generated 24,000 million units of power every year of which 25 per cent each come from hydel projects and state thermal power plants while 30 per cent is drawn from central thermal power stations and remaining 20 per cent from independent power producers (IPPs).

Replying a question on the state's effort to enhance hydro-power which is also called cheap energy, the minister said the existing capacity of hydel projects was 2,000 MW. "We have planned to set up pump storage power station at Indravati at an investment of Rs 1600 crore," the minister said adding that this would generate an additional 600 MW of hydro-power.

This apart, Mallick said the government has also decided to invest Rs 600 crore in renovation and modernisation of hydel projects at Burla, Chipilima and Balimela.

He said a 20 MW capacity solar power plant has been set up at Manmunda of Boudh district. Plans are also made to set up a 1,000 MW solar power park for which land acquisition work has reached the final stage. Similarly, rooftop solar power generation arrangement has been made on government office buildings, the minister said.


Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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