Reality pooh-poohs Odisha govt boast of ‘comfortable’ power situation

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 12:

While the Odisha government claimed on Monday that the power situation in the state was ‘comfortable’ and there would be no load shedding during evenings this summer, most parts of the state continue to suffer from announced or unannounced power cuts.

Pic Courtesy:
Pic Courtesy:

Sources said district headquarters town of Keonjhar having power cuts eight to ten times a day. In places like Telkoi, and Saharpada, the situtaion is even worse as power, once gone, takes hours to get restored in these areas.

The distribution utility has announced seven hours of power cut in Kendrapara for three days while Rajnagar, Aul, Mahakalpada localities are being subjected to frequent power cuts, reports said.

The situation in Jharsuguda town is much worse. On Sunday, a part of the town had nine hours of power cut from noon to 9 in the evening. Unannounced power cuts are a regular feature in different blocks of the district. With rising temperature and humidity levels, unannounced power cuts stretching from an hour to hours together across the state has made life miserable for the people.

The worst is the situation in rural areas, which have to grapple with, apart from power cuts, the additional problem of low voltage. Whether it’s Dhenkanal or Sundargarh, the situation is similar.

After Reliance’s exit and government taking over the reins of power distribution into its own control, consumers had hoped that the power situation will improve. But it’s just the opposite; instead of improvement, the situation has actually deteriorated.

What’s more irritating for consumers is that they are not getting satisfactory replies to their queries on power cuts. Most often, no one picks up the phone at the substation,” Consumers either hang up after a few attempts or are subjected to hear the engaged tone from the phone –a smart way to avoid answering calls. This is a routine affair,” said a consumer.

The Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) had asked the government to supply uninterrupted and quality power to consumers while increasing power tariff this year. While the state government has failed to supply uninterrupted power to the consumers, there is none from the OERC or any mechanism in place by the government to check compliance of the OERC orders. The directive of the OERC is gathering dust in the files.

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