Odisha government creating artificial power shortage: Opposition

Bhubaneswar: Though the State government has decided to discontinue power cuts in the evening during the upcoming festive situation, the Opposition has said that the government is creating artificial shortage of power to benefit the private power companies. Opposition parties raised questions on how the government will source the power while it claims that there is a 450-500 MW power deficit during peak hours.

According to the State Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, around 150-200 MW power will be generated by using the water conserved for agricultural activities, while the State government will borrow 100MW power from Delhi as compared to 50MW. Moreover, the State will also borrow power from Himachal Pradesh and will procure power from Independent Power Producers to meet the shortfall during night, the minister informed.

However, senior BJP leader alleged that the shortage is being created by the government to benefit few companies. “There is no reason why Odisha would face power shortage and if it was the case, then how suddenly we have enough power for the festival season,” Mohapatra questioned.

On the other hand, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik has highlighted the inefficiency of State government in managing Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses (AT&C) saying that nowhere in the country the losses are as high as 46%. “If the government is able to cut down these losses at least by half, then there will be no power shortage,” Patnaik said.

Notably, on October 9, in a major relief to power consumers in the State, the Odisha government decided to discontinue mandatory power cuts in the evening during the upcoming festive season.