Power restoration in Odisha: CPI(M) lodges FIR against Ambani

Berhampur: CPI(M) lodged an FIR against Reliance Energy Limited (REL) chief Anil Ambani and managing director of Southco and the head of the central services of REL-controlled power distribution companies in the state P K Choudhury today for non restoration of power supply in cyclone and flood-battered Ganjam district.
CPI-M state secretariat member Ali Kishor Patnaik filed the FIR at B N Pur Police Station here after party workers staged a protest against the private power company.
The FIR demanded action under the provisions of Orissa Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1988, against the two as the district was without power for over a month due to some man-made reasons.
The situation had arisen as the REL did not spend money for maintenance of power infrastructure in the aftermath of the 1999 super cyclone.
Even though the number of consumers had increased from 2.69 lakh in 1999 to 10.82 lakh now, the company had not increased its skilled manpower but reduced their strength, he alleged.
Meanwhile, the district administration today allowed a week's time to Southco, a REL unit, to restore electricity to public utilities like hospitals, pump houses and water supply systems in the district.
Southco had sought time upto December 7 for restoration of power in around 95 percent areas, including the public utilities, official sources said.
Southco sources said power supply has been restored in almost all notified area council (NAC) towns and 393 out of 475 gram panchayats.