Phailin effect: Taskforce to ascertain cause of uprooting of EHT towers

Bhubaneswar, Oct 24:

With massive damage to power infrastructure due to cyclone Phailin and resultant floods, the Odisha government on Thursday decided to set up a high level taskforce to find out the cause of large scale destruction of electrical equipment, mainly the huge transmission towers.

Official sources said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the power sector restoration yesterday, expressed surprise over the uprooting of Extra High Tension (EHT) towers in large number. The EHT towers are supposed to sustain wind speed upto 180 kmph with safety measures upto 270 kmph.

However, this time the wind speed of cyclone Phailin was upto 220 kmph. Therefore, it was expected that the EHT towers should not have been affected in the cyclone having windspeed of less than 250 kmph, they said.

While 93 EHT towers were affected in the cyclone, 22 towers had been damaged in the super cyclone in 1999 when wind speed was between 250 kmph and 300 kmph.

As many as 93 EHT towers have been badly affected in the cyclone of which 28 required complete replacement, the sources said.

“We have decided to constitute a Taskforce to find out the reason behind the uprooting. Transmission experts from Central Electricity Authority, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, retired electrical engineers will verify each and every tower and find out the reason behind the uprooting,” energy secretary PK Jena said.

The state owned Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) had executed installation of EHT towers across the state, sources said. (PTI)

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