Patna, Oct. 19: A directive has been issued so that economically backward and bordering districts can utilise funds not specifically meant for the energy sector to replace burnt and old transformers.
In a letter written about a week ago, Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd (BSPHCL) chairperson-cum-managing director Sandeep Poundrik asked district magistrates (DMs) to utilise central funds under integrated action plan, multi-sectoral development project, border area development programme and others for power-related work.
Integrated action plan — meant to address development in Left-wing extremism areas — covers nine districts, while seven bordering districts are covered under the border area development programme. Seven districts are covered under multi-sectoral development project for educational development of students from minority communities.
The power company allowed DMs to utilise the funds after the latter wrote to the government for replacing old and burnt transformers and re-conductoring (replacement of wires). The move would help districts, especially ones with international borders and economically backward, replace burnt transformers within 24 and 72 hours in urban and rural areas, respectively.
The step assumes significance in the backdrop of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s commitment to replace burnt transformers within the stipulated timeframe at any cost. Following Nitish’s stern directive to tone up the distribution, especially transformer network, the government plans to initiate several measures to improve the availability of transformers.
This April, the state government empowered MPs, MLAs and MLCs to recommend purchase of distribution transformers from local area development funds (for MPs) and chief minister’s area development funds (for MLAs and MLCs), paving the way for early replacement of burnt transformers. During a review meeting in August, chief secretary Ashok Kumar Sinha asked DMs and top officials of distribution companies to take measures to check the number of burnt transformers.