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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Power promise for summer
Water level link to stability

Bhubaneswar, March 24: Residents of the city can heave a sigh of relief as the electric supply authorities have promised uninterrupted power supply this summer.

A gap in the demand and supply of electricity had led to severe load shedding in various parts of the city last summer. Though the city needed 265 Megawatt (MW) of power per day last summer, the supply was 40 MW less than that.

The deficit happened because of inadequate power generation by several hydropower plants owing to low water levels in the reservoirs.

This year, however, power generation will not be affected, as the water levels in the reservoirs are adequate, said an official.

The total energy requirement of the city this summer is estimated to be around 300 MW with a number of business establishments and newly constructed apartments queuing up for power connections.

Though the city requires an average power supply of around 200 MW in non-summer months, the energy consumption increases by nearly 30 per cent during summer because of the extensive use of air conditioners.

“The demand for power is on the rise in the city because of rapid urbanisation. A number of business establishments have approached us for a power connection. We expect the demand to be around 300 MW this summer,” said superintending engineer, electrical circle-I, Central Electricity Supply Utility (Cesu) Sukanta Kumar Swain.

In May last year, a power transformer at Chandaka grid had stopped working because of a technical snag leading to load shedding in several areas of the city.

“Though ensuring uninterrupted power supply to Bhubaneswar has always been our priority, a deficit in hydropower generation had forced us to go for power cuts last year. The situation was so bad that we had to buy electricity at higher costs to distribute it to the consumers,” said a senior Cesu official.

Officials of the Odisha Hydropower Corporation Limited said that the water levels of reservoirs were above the desired level this time.

“We will be giving around 1000 MW of electricity per day during summer,” said public relations officer of the hydropower corporation K. Biswal.

However, local residents were relieved because the annual matriculation and plus two examinations got over without any disruption in electricity.

In February, the state government had directed the power distribution companies to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the examinations.

“Though the main examination season is over, this is the time for students to study for various entrance examinations, including the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination. So, the authorities must ensure that no load shedding takes place during summer,” said Pitabas Mohanty, a joint entrance applicant’s father.

Director (commercial) of Gridco P.K. Pradhan also said that power supply would be normal this summer.

“Last year, the technical snag in the power transformer caused inconvenience for the residents. But this year, we will ensure uninterrupted electricity supply,” said Pradhan.