Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 10:
Even as anger against unscheduled, frequent and prolonged power cuts over the last few days is reaching tipping point, the Odisha government today sought to make light of the crisis saying it was only a “temporary” phenomenon.
“It is a fact that there is power cut in many places across the state. This is due to fall in power generation in the state and it will be resolved soon. The government is committed to taking every step to resolve the problem,” Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das told the Assembly while replying to the debate on an adjournment motion on the prevailing power crisis in the state.
Informing that deficient rainfall during June added to the crisis, Das said once the water level increases in the reservoirs, the power crisis will gradually be over and the state will be able to generate electricity from the hydro sector.
The state used to generate about 1100 MW of power during June/July from its six hydro-power stations. However, it has come down to only 400 MW as the rain god is playing hide and seek decreasing water level in the reservoirs.
The minister said that the repair work and annual maintenance of thermal power plants will be over soon and they will be used to produce adequate electricity.
Das said that the state could arrange only 2650 MW of power against its demand of 3100 MW, and thus faces a shortage of about 450 MW to 500 MW.
The peak hour demand in Odisha was about 3700 MW, the minister said.
Presently, the state receives 400 MW from the hydro-power sector while 650 MW was arranged from the IB Thermal and Talcher Thermal Power Stations (TTPS). While 900 MW of power is availed from central sector, 600 MW of power comes from captive power plants and IPPs (Independent Power Producers). Similarly, 100 MW is availed from power exchange and other sources, the Minister informed.
Das said the technical snag in NTPC’s unit at Kanhia, TTPS unit at Talcher and NTPC’s Farakka and Kahalgaon units led to such disruption of power supply. Besides, there was technical snag at two units of OPGC.
However, in order to avoid the prevailing power crisis, the minister said the Gridco Corporation of Odisha, the sole bulk power supplier, had been directed to purchase power from different sources to meet the demand.
The issue was raised by opposition Congress members, who accused the state government of failing to keep its promise of providing 24×7 power supply to the consumers.