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July likely to end power pangs

Ranchi, June 13: Compared to north Indian states, the power situation in Jharkhand isn’t bad at all; it is rather better than many and will improve further by July-end.

In the wake of JVM protests and BJP’s threat to hit the streets on Monday, state power minister Rajendra Prasad Singh and Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited chief S.N. Verma sent this message to the aam aadmi at a news conference in Ranchi on Friday.

“When in power, the BJP and the JVM did absolutely nothing to set up any power plant in the state and increase generation,” the minister said, adding that his department was trying its best and things would improve by July-end.

The state has no shortage of power (internal generation and purchase from outside taken together), but technical snags caused by high day temperatures results in load shedding, said Verma.

Speaking on the sidelines later, the power board chief said transformers and transmission lines function best when the maximum reading is within 35°C.

“But, Jharkhand reels under much higher temperatures — between 40°C and 45°C — every summer, leading to overheating and melting of conductors and snapped transmission lines.”

Though the DVC has reduced power supply owing to non-payment of current dues amounting to Rs 450 crore, the same would be resumed soon, Verma told mediapersons, claiming that Rs 165 crore had already been sanctioned and would be paid within two days. “The rest will also be cleared within 15 days,” he added.

The minister chipped in that since the state had 33 per cent share in DVC, the latter would certainly honour interests of the state.

On when Ranchi might get uninterrupted power supply, Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam general manager K.K. Verma said the same would be possible only by next monsoon (in 2015). “New power lines will be laid within Ranchi electricity supply circle, 15 new substations will also be set up and 2,000 transmitters will be installed by that time,” he informed.

MP writes to Centre

Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani, in a letter addressed to minister of state for power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal on Thursday, drew attention towards the “dismal” power scenario in “coal-rich” Jharkhand that is “capable of supplying coal for power generation to other states”.

Alleging “complete mismanagement by the state”, Nathwani requested the Centre to pay special attention to Jharkhand and “work out a temporary solution” so that people get some respite.