| Chief minister Hemant Soren and energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh (in black waist coat) at the review meeting at Project Building in Ranchi on Tuesday. Telegraph picture |
Chief minister Hemant Soren has asked officials to ensure zero power cuts in the capital, a directive which the state electricity board believes can be honoured by March next year.
At a meeting to review the functioning of the energy department on Tuesday, Hemant asked officials to prepare a detailed project report for laying underground cables in Ranchi city, that requires 120MW of power daily.
According to JSEB, there was hardly any shortfall in Ranchi’s power requirement. However, poor distribution infrastructure necessitated load shedding at times to prevent breakdowns.
“We will be in a position to achieve the much talked of ‘zero power cut’ by March next year,” JSEB chairman S.N. Verma told The Telegraph.
He claimed that JSEB was supplying uninterrupted power to Ranchi for at least “23 and a half hours” every day.
Against a peak-time demand of 1,050MW across the state, average generation from Tenughat and Patratu aggregates 450MW. DVC supplies around 100MW and the balance is met by buying power from the central pool. In effect, there is no shortfall. And, therefore, technically, power cuts aren’t imposed because of that.
However, the JSEB chief clarified that power cuts were the result of problems related to outdated installations and old transmission lines.
These, he insisted, were now being attended to on a war footing throughout the state.
Sinha said steps had already been initiated to set up a 1,320MW thermal power plant on unused land belonging to Patratu Thermal Power Station in Ramgarh district. “The new plant will be set up in collaboration with private players,” he added.
New transmission lines had already been laid at several places in the districts of Palamau, Chatra and Giridih.
At Tuesday’s meeting, attended by energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh, chief secretary R.S. Sharma and other senior officials, the chief minister also called for the use of solar energy in panchayats.
Sharma pointed out that electricity bill collections were inadequate. “There should not be such a resource gap when everything is computerised and JSEB has feeder wise data. Junior engineers should be taken to task if there are resource gaps in their areas,” the chief secretary said.
“The chief minister also issued directives for early execution of rural electrification scheme under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana,” said a senior government official who attended the meeting.