| Scarce resource? |
June 23: When the fan twirls to a stop in the middle of an afternoon nap, don’t blame the Assam State Electricity Board for power shortage.
The much-beleaguered board has discovered that it’s bad distribution network and not shortage of electricity that leads to Jorhat’s sweaty afternoons and kerosene-lamp evenings.
“There had been no investment to improve the electricity distribution network for almost four decades, because of which the system has not only grown old but had also lost its power-carrying capacity. There is an urgent need to upgrade the entire network,” an ASEB official said.
With a recent review by state power minister Pradyut Bordoloi, ASEB hopes that the situation will improve.
Like elsewhere in the state, hours of power cut have jaded Jorhat’s nerves.
Disruption in power supply has also affected tea production, gardens have claimed.
Complaints pour in from both domestic and commercial consumers in the ASEB office but little changes.
Jorhat town requires around 20MW during peak hours.
“Though the requirement is around 20MW, the existing network can carry a maximum of around 12MW only, which is affecting distribution. Initial work for streamlining the power distribution in the town had already begun and we hope things will improve by the end of this year,” a senior board official said.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who is also from the district, had sanctioned Rs 12 crore to upgrade and modernise the electricity distribution network of Jorhat town under the chief minister’s Assam Bikash Yojgna.
The board has built five new sub-stations in Pulibor, Na-Kachari, Jonaki Nagar (Golaghat), Kakojan and Borholla in the past three years.
Apart from modernisation and upgradation of some of the existing ones — Teok, Gormur, old Pulibor, Jorhat, Dergaon and Titabor — the new ones will help bolster the system, an ASEB source said.