Odisha seeks Rs 12,000 crore from Centre

Bhubaneswar: Thye state government  has requested the Central Plan Panel to help include Odisha in the Reconstructed Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Psrogramme (RAPDRP) for the development of power sector. Stating that the 50 per cent of the distribution and transmission infrastructure in the State are old and failing to cater to the growing consumer base, the government demanded Rs 12,000 crore to meet the requirement for modernisation and strengthening of the system.

While an estimated 5,000 crore is needed towards the modernisation of the transmission network, distribution infrastructure required funds to the tune of `7,000 crore, said Chief Secretary, Bijay Patnaik.

Patnaik who was reviewing the power sector development in the state in presence of two advisors of the Planning Commission, Aravind Prasad and S Dasgupta, told media that though Odisha was pioneer in the power sector reforms in the country, the state was suffering for the unique initiative.

He pointed out that the State has been confirming the guidelines of the Planning Commission and fulfilling all conditions of the Union Power Ministry, while formulating the annual plan.

However, the Union Government instead of providing requisite assistance to further the reform process and strengthen the power sector, had excluded Odisha from getting any grants out of the APDRP and subsequent RAPDRP scheme. He said that the number of electricity consumer in the State had been increasing.It would be difficult for the State to cater to the need of the consumer in the existing power infrastructure.

The Chief Secretary said that in the absence of the central grant and soft loan under RAPDRP, the State can  afford to meet the situation with its meager resource base.

The State is implementing a CAPEX programme for strengthening the infrastructure at an investment of Rs.2,400 crore. It needed more funds to sustain the programme in the long run to achieve the objective of reducing the transmission, commercial and distribution losses, he said.