Odisha steps up electricity restoration work

Odisha today restored power supply to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur town, two major drinking water supply units and Telephone Bhavan of the biggest town of Ganjam district, as it stepped up restoration work post Cyclone Phailin.

"We are trying our best to restore normalcy in Ganjam and other places. The situation in Ganjam is precarious as thousands of electric poles, transformers, high tension towers and even grid stations have been completely destroyed. They require re-building and not repair," Energy secretary P K Jena said, adding efforts are on to provide temporary power supply in Ganjam district within 10/12 days.

Elaborating loss to power infrastructure, Jena said "electrical infrastructure in all the 22 blocks and 18 towns have been badly affected in the cyclone. Of the 30,000 km electric line damaged in the state, 13,000 km is in Ganjam district alone. Even 54 big high tension towers have been damaged in the calamity."

Besides transformers, about 30,000 electric poles have been damaged in the calamity. Rourkela Steel Plant has started supplying 1,000 electric poles to be installed in worst affected Ganjam district, he said.

However, Jena claimed that the government have been successful in providing partial power to one block and one township of Ganjam.

"Berhampur town, Gopalpur, Chhatrapur and Rangeilunda are problem areas. Time is needed to restore normalcy there," he said, adding Brahmagiri, Krushna Prasad in Puri district and Balugaon in Khurda will also need special attention.

Stating that the state government has enough materials and equipment to restore power supply in both cyclone and flood-hit 17 areas, Jena said Odisha has at least 6,000 transformers. "We require technical manpower," he said, adding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure sending technical man power from the CPSUs like PGCIL, NTPC and NHPC.

Meanwhile, Vice-chairman of National Disaster Management Authority M Shashidhar Reddy said the 300 electrical experts are being arranged to be deployed immediately in cyclone affected areas in Odisha where there is no power since the cyclone Phailin hit on Saturday.

Asked about the power restoration in seven flood-hit districts, Jena said they would be able to supply electricity to all the places where water has receded by October 18. "Many transformers have been completely submerged," he said.