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24x7 power hope for district towns

Sub-divisional headquarters would dazzle in round-the-clock power supply by end-February. The state government on Thursday announced the decision.

“The power companies are supplying power for 20 hours a day at the district headquarters. Efforts are on to extend it to 23-24 hours a day by end-February. A grid sub-station would be set up in every sub-division by end-2014 to strengthen the transmission network of the state,” energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told reporters.

Talking at length about the energy department’s achievements of 2013 and what it intends to do this year, the minister iterated his commitment to fulfil chief minister Nitish Kumar’s 2012 Independence Day vow that he (Nitish) would not seek votes in the 2015 Assembly polls if he fails to improve power supply.

“Please don’t interpret it in your (journalists’) way. The chief minister has said he would not seek votes if there would not be improvement on the power supply front by end-2015,” Yadav said, while replying on whether or not Nitish would seek votes if he fails to provide power to every household.

To another question on reducing the power tariff rate like the AAP is doing in Delhi, Yadav said: “The electricity tariff rate is much lower than in other states. Today, the government is not in a position to talk about cheaper or quality power supply. We would be happy if we are able to make power available first. The power company, which has been providing 2,300MW to the state, has resolved to provide 3,000MW during summer, with supply touching 4,000MW by end-2014.” He added that the supply would cross 5,692MW by end-2015.

Energy secretary and Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd chairman-cum-managing director (MD) Sandeep Poundrik said efforts are on to start a prepaid meter system in some towns, including Patna, the process for which would start in two to three months.

Poundrik, who was accompanied by distribution company MD Sanjay Kumar Agarwal and transmission company MD Sanjay Kumar Singh said the introduction of prepaid meters would stop the scope of power pilferage.

In response to a query regarding appointment of distribution franchisee in Patna, the CMD said a fresh tender would be floated to invite reputed and nationally acclaimed power firms for supplying power in the state capital.

Poundrik said the power companies aim to collect Rs 450 crore additional revenue to mitigate the revenue gap even after taking Rs 200 crore monthly financial support from the government.

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