Odisha: Underground cabling project falters in Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Twin City

Bhubaneswar: An ambitious underground cabling project, which was started in 2015 and targeted to be completed by December 2020 to provide uninterrupted power supply in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, has been eluding the Twin City denizens. Seemingly, the cable-laying work is going on at a snail’s pace.

The work has stopped in the midway at some places ­and is likely to be complete by FY 2025-26 at some others. Commuters face utter difficulties as tunnels have been dug and are lying open at several places in the twin cities. Allegedly, it is not known when the project would see the light of day.

Energy Minister Pratap Keshari Deb had previously said during a review of the Department’s report card that the cable laying work will be completed soon. The work has progressed a little after that.

According to an Energy Department source, power is being supplied through underground cables over 412 circuit kilometer (CKM) length of line in some prime localities of the State Capital under State Capital Region Improvement of Power System (SCRIPS) scheme. Out of the total length, around 30 CKM are 132 KV lines, 39 CKM are 33 KV lines, 227 CKM are 11 KV lines and 116 CKM are LT lines.

Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) has been carrying out cable laying work over a length of 35 CKM 132 KV lines at different posh localities in Bhubaneswar, which is to be completed by FY 2024-25. Besides, a total length of 74.7 CKM underground cables has been targeted to be laid by FY 2025-26 in different places of Khurda district under Disaster Resilient Power System (DRPS)-2.

Similarly, Tata Power-Central Odisha Distribution Limited (TPCODL) has laid 9 CKM (8 CKM of 33 KV line and 1 CKM of 11 KV line) in the FY 2021-22 under Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) programme. Moreover, another work of laying 44.53 CKM of line was started during FY 2022-23, which is still underway. This includes 10.1 CKM of 33 KV line, and 34.43 CKM of 11 KV line.

OPTCL laid 12 CKM of 132 KV line, 32 CKM of 33 KV line and 155 CKM of 11 KV line under SCRIPS scheme in Bhubaneswar during FY 2019-20. Likewise, 18 CKM, 7 CKM and 73 CKM lines were laid during FY 2020-21, respectively. A 6.5 CKM of 132 KV line stretching from Kesura up to Badagada was targeted to be completed in FY 2022-23 and is underway. The 6.5 CKM of 132 KV line work from Satya Nagar up to Badagada, 3.8 CKM of line from Satya Nagar up to Unit-8, 6 CKM of line from Mancheswar up to Satya Nagar, 3 CKM of line from Nayapalli up to Unit-8 and 4.5 CKM of line from Satya Nagar up to Kuakhai have been targeted to be complete by FY 2024-25. Another work of 5 CKM line from Mancheswar up to Nayapalli was targeted to be completed by the current financial year.

Worth mentioning, the cable laying works have been reviewed several times in the past eight years. Accordingly, instructions were issued to officials concerned to expedite the works.

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