.........ROURKELA: Even as thrust is laid on expanding the rural electrification base, the existing bona fide consumers of Rourkela are deprived of quality power service. Uninterrupted power supply, as envisaged in the Smart City vision, remains a distant dream for the city, which is the industrial capital of Odisha.
After summer ended with long hours of unscheduled power cuts and frequent tripping, monsoon is nearing end without any improvement in power availability scenario. Throughout the day, different localities in the city witness power cuts in phases __ it’s two to three hours in authorised residential colonies and four to five hours at slum pockets.
A delegation of Rourkela District Congress Committee comprising president Biren Senapati, former Congress MLA Pravat Mohapatra and other senior leaders on Thursday met WESCO Superintending Engineer (SE) A N Meher and gave ultimatum to improve the situation in 10 days or the SE’s office would be closed.
Senapati claimed that a whopping amount is collected from bona fide consumers of the city but they are forced to face unscheduled power cuts and tripping. He said essential services, including health and education, are getting affected, while industrial output is going down and small to large commercial establishments are also suffering business loss. “If there is shortage in power generation, then the government should officially schedule power cuts,” he said.
WESCO sources said the city daily requires about 80-85 Mega Watt (MW) and admitted shortfall of power availability. They said power thefts through unauthorised connections are also worsening the situation.
Meher said due to inadequate power generation in the State, the Load Despatch Centre at Bhubaneswar is directly regulating supply to power grids, including those in Rourkela. Stating that the situation would improve shortly, he said power distribution infrastructure is also getting strengthened.