Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 24:
The three power distribution companies (discoms), whose license was revoked by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), owe Rs 4000 crore to the state government, said Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das in the State Assembly on Monday.
Replying to a question of BJD MLA Ranedra Pratap Swain during the discussion on demand for grants of Energy Department for 2015-16, he said the government has not provided these three discoms—South, Nesco and Wesco— with any power subsidy unlike other states.
Das assured the House that the state government would conduct the audit by a third party into the entire power purchase by Grid Corporation of Odisha, the sole bulk supplier of power to distribution companies in the State.
to get a third party audit done against the power purchase of Gridco from the Independent Power Producers (IPP). Odisha continues to buy electricity from the IPPs as the NTPC power tariff is higher.
While discussing reform in energy sector, the minister assured to use Information Technology while preparing bills of the customers.
Efforts are on to ensure uninterrupted power supply to every house of the state by 2020 for which the state needs an additional 2000 MW, he added.
The state will get 500 MWs each from three independent power producers—Ind-Bharath, Monnet Energy, JITPL and Maa Durga— which would be operationalised this year. Apart from this, the third and fourth unit of OPGC, Darlipali NTPC thermal power and Bedabahal UMPP will provide another 2000 MWs of power by 2018-19, Das pointed out.
While the peak demand of the state now stands at 3800 MW, the government is hopeful of meeting the increased demand of 6080 MWs by 2019-20.
The government is also planning to purchase power from non-conventional sources in the next five years, the minister said.
The government has provided new power connections to 25 lakh consumers and plans to provide the connections to another 25 lakh in the next five years, said Das.
Besides, the government will also implement DRPS to protect towers and power supply instruments from natural calamities within 60 kilometres of sea. Apart from this, a SCRIPS scheme will be implemented in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Referring to the rural connectivity programme, the minister said as per 2001 census, the government has electrified 43,753 villages out of 47,529 villages having a population of more than 100.
Besides, out of a total 96,37,820 houses targeted, the government has provided electricity to 53,62,843 houses and 23,15,605 BPL families during the period.
Apart from this, out of the required number of 10,000 transformers which have been either damaged or stolen, the department has set up 5396 transformers so far, Das informed the House.
As per 2011 census, 53,62,843 houses of the state have been provided with electricity out of 96,37,820 houses, he said, adding that the department has planned to implementing a special feeder programme for agriculture and fishery sectors.
The House later approved Rs 1187.35 crore for the Energy department for 2015-16 fiscal.