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Odisha House Committee resents power distribution system in state

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 18:

The House Committee on Energy of the Odisha Assembly has expressed resentment over the power distribution system.

The committee had a meeting at the State Assembly yesterday which was presided over by the Speaker Niranjan Pujari, and attended by Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, Leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra and Revenue minister Bijayshree Routray.

Expressing resentment over poor power distribution policies, the Speaker commented “Bijuli Ku Jagannath Bharasa” (Only Lord Jagannath can save the energy crisis).

Participating in the discussion, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that the blocks are not being given their quota of Rs 50 lakh as provided for under Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana (BGJY).

The committee strongly protested the claim of the Energy department on 99 percent success in the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).  While government chief whip Anant Das said the claim by the Centre that RGGVY was false and exaggerated, he was supported by the other members who said that the said project has been implemented on papers.

Some of the members pointed out that the project is not being implemented even though sufficient fund lies with the authorities. They suggested transfer of the extra fund lying unused in the districts, to other districts for immediate implementation.

The committee decided to ask the district level officers to hold quarterly meetings of BGJY to review power distribution, status of the ongoing projects and attend to the consumer complaints.

As decided in the meeting, the transformers will be kept at stock at local electricity offices for emergency replacement while the existing rule of 50 percent advance payment before replacement by the distribution companies would not be forced upon consumers.

It may be noted that though there are guidelines to change transformers within 24 hours in urban areas and within 48 hours in rural areas in case of a damaged transformer, the distribution companies hardly adhere to it.

The committee also agreed upon developing infrastructure on a large scale to ensure better power distribution while the Energy minister promised the members to look into the suggestions and complaints raised by them.