Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 8:
The Odisha government has decided to provide quality and reliable electricity to all villages and hamlets in the state by 2019.
Chairing an annual review meeting of the Energy department, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed the department to improve and strengthen power production, distribution and transmission in the state in order to achieve the above target.
43,753 out of the total of 47,677 revenue villages and 54,061 out of the total of 82,014 hamlets, which works out to 92% of villages and 66% of hamlets in the state, have been provided with electricity connections, it was revealed at the meeting.
While the state had 16 lakh consumers in the year 2000, the number increased to 58 lakh in 2015. It is targeted to increase the number of connections to 96 lakh by 2019.
Besides, in the last five years, 25 lakh BPL families have been provided with electricity connections under different schemes.
Under the Odisha distribution strengthening project, it has been targeted to construct 500 33/11 KV substations. The department has planned to charge 10 such substations every month from August this year.
“We are providing quality power. For ensuring quality power to the consumers in the state, we are going to install 500 new 33/11 KV substations in the state within the next four years. Already 21 have been requisitioned. Work orders have been issued for 84 out of another 167 after completion of tenders. Within the next three months, work orders for the rest will be issued after tendering is over. The Chief Minister has instructed charging of 10 33/11 KV substations every month from August onwards. Our target is to provide quality power,” Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das told reporters after the meeting.
Among other things, revamping of GRIDCO, implementation of State Capital Region Improvement of Power System to provide 24×7 uninterrupted power in the Capital region, replacement of 15,000 old transformers, extensive use of solar power in remote and inaccessible areas, expediting work on bringing in improvement in 166 power projects in KBK region and ensuring uninterrupted power supplies to tribal girls’ hostels in the state came up for discussion during the meeting.
Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra has poohpoohed the state government’s claim and has called it a ‘perpetual liar’.
“In rural areas there are power cuts for around 12 to 16 hours. Therefore this government is a perpetual liar,” said Mishra in his reaction to the Energy Minister’s claim of providing quality power.