Govt to purchase power this puja season

Bhubaneswar: With festive season round the corner, the Odisha government is contemplating to purchase power from captive power generators to avoid mandatory power cuts in the State during this period.

State power trading utility, GRIDCO today wrote letters in this regard to as many as 24 captive power plants and expects to resolve the issue before puja festivities begin.

“We have written letters to the CGs (captive generators) to purchase power from them. Besides, we expect one unit at Kaniha to be functional within 2-3 days. We are trying our level best to get power from different sources,” GRIDCO Director, (Commercial) PK Pradhan said.

“We don’t want the consumers to be in darkness in the festive season. But we are helpless as we don’t have power with us. We are trying to manage the situation,” Pradhan stated.

Officials said, the government is also actively looking at the unit price of power before purchasing so that it will not hurt the consumers. Highly placed sources said, if the State government looks to buy power at Rs 2.75 per unit from captive power generators, it has to cough up Rs 300 crore and for this permission of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) is needed.

Sources added, it has also sought the permission of the Commission which is expected in a couple of days.

Though many parts of central and coastal Odisha are experiencing heavy to very heavy rains due to low-pressure formed over Bay of Bengal in the past couple of weeks, the reservoirs are yet to touch the water level for electricity generation.

More so, during the return of monsoon the situation is unlikely to revive as the meteorological department is forecasting a dry spell.

“The mandatory power cuts will be there till situation improves,” an official requesting anonymity said.
Currently the urbanites are facing a daily load shedding of two hours, while in rural areas it is four hours a day.