The CESC on Monday assured uninterrupted power supply in the city and its adjoining areas during the Pujas, but expressed concern over heavy rains marring its efforts.
“Even though we have raised the pillar boxes in the low-lying areas, rains may lead to faults. However, we have geared up to our level best,” said CESC executive director in charge of distribution D.N. Majumdar.
According to him, the demand for electricity in the evening peak hour during the Pujas has been pegged at 1,281 MW — four units higher than last year. “We don’t foresee any major problem as 12 transformers have recently been installed across the city and the rate of low and high tension faults is considerably low this year,” he added.
At a meeting with the state power department and State Electricity Board (SEB) officials last week, the private power utility was assured of unrestricted supply from the SEB during the Pujas. The CESC’s generation is expected to hover around 1,000 MW during the Pujas, which means it will require another 280 MW from the SEB in the evening peak hour, said Majumdar.
Power department sources said the state-run Kolaghat plant put up a poor show in the first half of August and, as a result, the SEB had to heavily cut down on its supply to the CESC grid. “Generation at the plant has improved now,” an official said.
Around 6,000 CESC employees will be on duty, monitoring the power situation during the festivities, said Majumdar. Nearly 223 mobile emergency vans fitted with wireless sets will patrol the streets round-the-clock to detect and repair faults. CESC officials will be present at the fire brigade headquarters and the Calcutta Police control room to tackle any emergency.
Majumdar, however, cautioned Puja committees against hooking of power lines at the pandals. Along with the police and civic officials, the CESC will keep a strict vigil on pandals. Organisers found pilfering power will face a three-year jail term and a fine of Rs 10,000. “Last year, 344 pujas were pulled up for power theft. A few of them were even deprived of Puja awards because of this. Besides, two CESC transformers were damaged due to hooking from overhead lines,” he added.
Majumdar urged Puja organisers to use good quality cables, wiring and electrical equipment at their pandals and have them installed under the supervision of authorised electricians. He also urged them to have the wiring and other equipment set up at least one metre above ground.