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Minister flays power stir

Ranchi, June 18: BJP cadres today sat on a dharna in Palamau and Seraikela-Kharsawan against recurring power cuts in Jharkhand while both Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and Ajsu threatened follow-up agitations, prompting energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh to dub the protests a cheap attempt at seeking political mileage.

“There is no dearth of power in the state. Barring some areas, most districts are now getting power for at least 23 hours a day. There is no crisis as is being projected by various political parties,” Singh said after chairing an emergency meeting on the power sector today.

Among those who attended the meeting were S. N. Verma, chairman, Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (JUVNL), and all directors of the three newly created subsidiary companies handling generation, transmission and distribution.

Nevertheless, the minister directed power officials to ensure that replacement of burnt transformers and other electrical fittings on transmission lines were undertaken within a definite timeframe to ensure normal power supply to all consumers.

Verma stressed that all districts under JUVNL command areas were getting anything between 17 to 23 hours of power every day. “The situation has drastically improved with sporadic rains all over the state and the resultant fall in day time temperatures,” he told The Telegraph.

The JUVNL chief, however, admitted that supply in many areas of the state remained disrupted due to rising day temperatures that triggered overheating of transformers and melting of electrical circuits.

“However with the skies overcast, all that is a thing of the past,” Verma added.

He also conceded that in some areas of Chatra and Simdega, power supply was disrupted due to overheating of electrical circuits. But, engineers were on the job and normalcy would be restored as soon as possible.

“We have sufficient power at our disposal. In addition to internal generation of around 450MW from the two thermal power generating units of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd at Lalpania in Bokaro district and Patratu Thermal Power Station at Ramgarh, we are getting another 500MW from other sources. There is no gap in demand and supply,” he stressed.