Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 9:
The state government today gave festive bonanza to its power consumers by temporarily doing away with the power-cuts across the state for a month beginning Sunday. Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das announced this after a review meeting held at the Secretariat.
The power-cuts during evening time has been put off till November 15 in view of upcoming Dussehra, one of the major festivals in the state. However, the outages during the day time would continue as the power distribution companies are still reeling under acute shortage of supply.
“The demand is around 4,000 MW during peak hours. While the shortage was around 600 MW earlier, it is 450 MW now. We would make up for the demands through independent power projects (IPPs) and banking. Today, we decided to cancel the power-cuts during evening time from Sunday. The decision on outages during day time will be taken in the next meeting in the first week of November,” Das said.
Notably, Gridco has requested captive power generators to step up generation to meet the shortfall in the state. It wrote to as many as 24 captive power plants yesterday in this regard and expects to resolve the crisis ahead of Durga Puja.
As captive generators are asking for Rs 2.75 to Rs 3 per unit, Gridco is likely to incur additional burden of Rs 300 to 350 crore which has to be ultimately passed on to the consumers. It has to obtain permission from Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) before buying costly power to meet the shortfall.
The state government had announced load-shedding last month to overcome the power crisis in the state owing to insufficient water in the reservoirs following deficient rainfall this monsoon. People had to witness scheduled power-cuts from one to three hours a day in two phases – morning and evening.