For power, dish out lakhs on hour basis

Bhubaneswar: It is an irony that despites tens of memorandum of understanding(MOUs) with power generation companies the state experiences power cuts and that too in winter. Severe power crunch has affected consumers not just in rural and remote areas but also in the capital city which witnesses power cut for two hours a day. To address the crisis the government has started purchasing power from the agency called Indian Energy Exchange and that too at an astronomical price. The state exchequer empties by Rs 10 lakhs for purchasing just 350 megawatts of energy.

The Gridco authorities told that there was no other way out than purchasing power at the offered price. The energy department had to purchase 350 megawatts for just two hours, from 4 PM to 6 PM on December 2 and spend Rs 10 lakhs. But commercial director of Gridco, P K Pradhan rued that the energy department could not purchase power on December 3 as the price was hiked by Rs1.50 per unit.

But where do the people go? There is a shortfall in power generation resulting in short supply to the households. When there is no supply at all, one jas to live without power. The least said about remote areas the best perhaps. Power cuts continue for even 12 to 16 hours. Said school girl Babita Dash from Biridi," We have to under the dim lights of the lantern and there is no respite from it."

Energy department officials said that the shortfall in power generation has increased to 950 megawatts due to shortage of water in reservoirs. The condition might improve towards January next but only if the water level goes up in the reservoirs. But again there is a big if.