Energy dept’s Phailin loss Rs 900cr

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu

Bhubaneswar, Oct 15:

universityThe state Energy department has incurred losses worth Rs 900 crore due to Cyclone Phailin, which battered vast areas in coastal Odisha on Saturday.

Briefing reporters after a meeting to take stock of the losses at the state secretariat here on Tuesday, Energy minister Arun Sahu revealed that Southco, the power utility for the southern districts, alone accounted for Rs 550 crores of the loss. The lion’s share of Rs 466 crores in the losses incurred by Southco was in Ganjam, which bore the brunt of Nature’s fury, he said.

CESU, responsible for power supply in the central districts, incurred a loss of Rs 250 crore while the losses suffered by Nesco, the power utility for the northern areas and Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) were pegged at Rs 40 crore and Rs 55 crore, said the Energy minister.

The restoration of the electrical infrastructure requires the services of 3, 000 skilled workers while just 1, 200 had been pressed into service so far. The department has written to the Centre to make available skilled workers for speedy restoration, Sahu said.

About 34,000 km of low tension line and 3700 km of high tension line have been damaged in the cyclone, the review meeting revealed.

About 4.80 lakh electric poles have been damaged, 30, 000 of them damaged severely. The department has decided to replace the severely damaged poles at the earliest, Energy secretary Pradeeep Kumar Jena said. Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) has been requested to supply 1, 000 electric poles, he said adding poles were also being organised from other sources.

“The department is trying hard to restore electricity in these areas. We hope to supply electricity in the remaining part of Bhubaneswar within 24 hours while it will take about three weeks to restore electricity supply in Ganjam district considering the extent of damage to power infrastructure in the district,” said Jena. Thirteen substations in Berhampur and three in Chhatrapur have been completely damaged in the cyclone, he said. Efforts are on to restore the Narendrapur grid, he added.

Meanwhile, the school and mass education department has estimated a loss of Rs 278.41 crore in the cyclone. About 5825 primary schools have been affected in the cyclone, informed departmental sources.

The higher education department is in the process of assessing damage to colleges and universities in the state caused by Phailin.

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