July deadline to light up Rayagada villages
Rayagada: The administration has set a July 31 deadline to light up the district as it continues with rural electrification work.
Officials said there were 118 villages without electricity, while 2,389 villages were partially electrified.
"We are committed to completing the work at the villages without electricity by March 31," said collector Guha Pooam Tapas Kumar.
She said only minor works remain at the partly electrified villages and these would be taken up in phases before July 31.
"If everything goes according to our plan, we will achieve our target by July 31 and aim to declare the district as electrified on Independence Day," Kumar said.
She said that once completed, it would be a source of immense pride for every one in the administration because of the challenges they have had to overcome to bring electricity to the district.
The work, which had been taken up a year ago on a priority basis, was not easy given its geographical location, including hilly terrains and the Bandadhara and Nagaballi rivers that criss-cross the district.
"A majority of habitations and villages are located in the hilly regions and are inaccessible regions. So, it was a challenging task for us. However, with continuous review and monitoring, we are now close to achieving our target. We have also obtained 85 forest clearances to erect electric poles in the forested areas," she said.
"The devastating flood last July had also hampered our work to a great extent. However, we intensified it on a war footing once normality was restored," she said.
The administration completed stringing at least 563km high-tension lines and 114km low-tension lines in the past year apart from installing 403 transformers.
It has also established a 2x5MVA capacity sub-station in Chandrapur block, one of the worst Maoist-hit areas, that is expected to be commissioned before March 31.
"The Chandrapur sub-station was a long-standing demand. It's location in the area makes it important for us as well. Once, the sub-station becomes operational, load-shedding and problems of low voltage would be eliminated," said Southern Electricity Supply Company's superintending engineer (Rayagada) P.K. Sahu.