CM promises 24/7 power for all

DEADLINE MARCH 2018

By RUDRA BISWAS in Ranchi
  • Published 29.04.16
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Chief minister Raghubar Das lays the foundation stone for Raj Bhavan substation in Ranchi on Thursday. (Prashant Mitra)

Ranchi, April 28: Chief minister Raghubar Das today promised "24/7 power supply" for all Jharkhand consumers - domestic, industrial and rural - by March 31, 2018, ahead of the Union power ministry's projections to bring the entire country on the power map by 2019.

Saying this while launching the underground cable laying at the Kanke Road's Raj Bhavan substation of state-owned distribution company Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam (JBVNL), Das stressed all cities, towns and villages of the state would get "uninterrupted and quality power" in less than two years.

"Cities, small towns and villages would be electrified by March 2018. Electrification does not mean just putting up poles. Till every household doesn't get regular power connection, a town or a village won't be deemed fully electrified," the chief minister said.

Stressing on adhering to strict deadlines in the underground cabling work in Ranchi, which the chief minister called "the capital and window of the state", he added the work should be over well before scheduled completion dates. The Rs 395.26-crore job to lay underground cables in Ranchi, entrusted with Mumbai-based Poly Cab Wires, has a deadline of March 31, 2018, but 70 per cent of the work must be over by March 31, 2017.

In a speech that showed the chief minister had done his homework, he said: "Residents of Ranchi will have to endure long hours of power cuts to facilitate laying underground cables and strengthening power infrastructure, since these jobs can be carried out only when power supply is off. But, given the rising summer temperatures, I will request power officials to finish other jobs like digging trenches, erecting substations, putting up transformers, among others, in the next two months, and wait till the onset of monsoon before ordering power cuts."

In addition to laying underground cables, jobs related to renovation and strengthening of power substations, replacement of ordinary meters with tamper-proof electronic meters, feeder separation, putting up of new transformers, among others, are being taken up under the centrally sponsored Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP), Das added.

"There was a time when then Jharkhand State Electricity Board was a mess and a den of corruption. But now, things have drastically improved," Das said.

"The state government intends to turn a complete new leaf," he added. "That's why infrastructure projects such as power, road and water supply have been granted top priority. This year, people across the state are experiencing a severe drinking water crisis. We have ordered digging one lakh dobas (small ponds), 2,000 ponds along with 50,000 more ponds under MGNREGS within the next two months to ensure that people across the state don't encounter drinking water crisis in 2017."

The chief minister also unveiled eZy-bZly, a mobile app that can be downloaded from Google Play Store, to enable consumers across the state to view monthly power bills, pay bills online, apply for new connections, book complaints, modify load requirements and track complaints and applications for new connections.

In his address, JBVNL managing director Rahul Purwar called the development a new beginning. "We remain committed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to all consumers in the state within the next two years," Purwar said.

S.K.G. Rahate, energy principal secretary, announced the chief minister would launch laying underground cabling work in Jamshedpur on May 1.