The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CM prod for power plan
- Detailed report sought in a week

Bhubaneswar, April 30: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has sought within a week a vision paper from the private distribution companies and the state-owned Gridco on the essentials to ensure an uninterrupted and quality power supply.

Naveen today convened a high-level meeting to take stock of the power situation and thrash out the details related to private power distribution companies, where he was informed that the companies have projected a requirement of 17,000 million units of electricity during the current fiscal in their business plans submitted before the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission against the 14,000 million units in the previous year.

Though Gridco and other state-owned power generators have the capacity to generate the required amount of power, they lack proper transmission and distribution lines to ensure uninterrupted and quality power supply.

The chief minister asked the energy department officials to submit a detailed report by May 7 on requirements for laying high-tension transmission lines to ensure supply of power required by the private distribution companies, state energy minister Surya Narayan Patro told mediapersons after the meeting.

Earlier, Gridco had availed a loan of Rs 4,000 crore from various financing agencies and banks for upgrading the system. The state government had stood guarantee to the deal. The public sector power utility has, meanwhile, repaid Rs 2,000 crore of the loan.

Gridco, however, has been split and the responsibility of power transmission has now been entrusted with the newly-formed Orissa Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL). Hence, OPTCL will have to cough up the money to improve the transmission system. If necessary, it will have to avail loan for which the state government will stand guarantee, said Patro.

Similarly, the private distribution companies may have to invest on an installation of 33/11 KV sub-stations or transformers to supply quality and uninterrupted power to consumers, he further said. The chief minister, therefore, sought the requirements of the private distribution companies for the same within a week, the minister added.

Officials of the energy department were also asked to work out requirements for electrification of villages under the Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutkaran Yojana in consultation with the private distribution companies, Patro said.

The government has been drawing flak from MLAs cutting across party lines for tardy progress of rural electrification.

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