Odisha power crisis temporary: Minister

The Odisha government termed the ongoing power crisis in the state "temporary" and called upon the people to be economic while using electricity for their daily consumption.

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday termed the ongoing power crisis in the state "temporary" and called upon the people to be economic while using electricity for their daily consumption.

"It is a fact that there is power cut in many places across the state. This is due to deficit power generation in the state," Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das told the Assembly while replying to an adjournment debate on the prevailing power crisis in the state.

The minister said that the deficient rainfall during June added to the crisis.

"The state used to generate about 1100 MW of power during June/July from its six hydro-power stations," the minister said, adding, it has come down to only 400 MW as water level did not rise in reservoirs due to less rainfall this time.
However, Das termed the crisis temporary and said the state will start receiving rainfall soon which will raise the water level in reservoirs and therefore the state will be able to generate electricity from the hydro sector.

"I hope that the present crisis will be resolved with the increase of water level in different reservoirs," he said.

The minister also said that the repair work and annual maintenance of different thermal power plants will be over soon and they will be used to produce adequate electricity.

The issue was raised by opposition Congress members who accused the state government of failing to keep its promise of providing 24x7 power supply to the consumers.

"Why cannot the government purchase electricity from the open market and ensure uninterrupted power supply to the consumers," asked Congress member Debendra Sharma.
Das replied that the state could arrange only 2650 MW of power against its demand of 3100 MW, and thus faces a shortage of about 450 MW to 500 MW.

The peak hour demand in Odisha was about 3700 MW, the minister said.

Giving details of power available from different sources, the minister said the government got 400 MW from the hydro-power sector while 650 MW was arranged from the IB Thermal and Talcher Thermal Power Stations.

While 900 MW of power is availed from central sector, Odisha gets 600 MW of power from captive power plants and IPPs (Independent Power Producers). Similarly, 100 MW is availed from power exchange and other sources, he said.

On the recent crisis prevailing since four days leading to acute load shedding, the minister pointed out that there was breakdown of generation at three different thermal power stations.

"While there was technical snag in NTPC`s unit at Kanhia, similar situation arose in TTPS unit at Talcher and NTPC`s Farakka and Kahalgaon units. Besides, there was technical snag at two units of OPGC. However, the problem has been corrected in OPGCs," the minister said.

However, in order to avoid the prevailing power crisis, the minister said the Gridco Corporation of Odisha, the sole bulk power supplier, had been directed to purchase power from different sources to meet the demand.

Appealing the public to be economic in utilising electricity, Das said, the state government is committed to resolve the present power crisis in the state.

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