Rural Power supply Goes Haywire in Odisha: Plug-outs high, No 24X7 Access

WESCO tops in power outages duration and no round the clock supply, CESU tops with average number of outages in a month. SOUTHCO performance comparatively good

Bhubaneswar: The rural power play in Odisha has hiccups galore. While the State even in the monsoon period (August 2019) failed to provide 24X7 power supply in rural areas, the frequent power outages in the villages were highly irritating.

As per the data available with State Energy Department, the villages in the districts of Sambalpur, Sonepur, Bargarh, Sundargarh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Bolangir have no access to power supply for a high of 5-long hours in a day.

In contrast, rural areas in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Bhadrak could draw power supply for around 20 hours only. Rural areas in rest of the districts in the State failed to have power supply for at least 2-hours every day.

WESCO, which supplies power to districts like Sambalpur, Sonepur, Bargarh, Sundargarh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Bolangir, has the worst record in power outages.

For instance, in August, power outage (unscheduled) duration under WESCO stood at a whopping nearly 7 hours. NESCO followed with outages for 5 hours, CESU with nearly 4 hours and SOUTHCO with over 3 hours.

However, when it comes to frequency of power outages, CESU tops the list with an average number of around 66 times, means at least two outages every day. NESCO followed with nearly 60 times. SOUTHCO with number of outages at 34 emerged as the best performer in State.

As the outages were recorded at the 11 KV feeder lines, the brunt was borne by the residents.

While experts blame the poor transmission network and load on substation for such high outages, the energy department has plans to ensure uninterrupted power supply by  2021.

A top official in the State Energy department conceded the fact but informed that work is in progress for completion  of 12 new transmission lines under all the discom areas, and they are scheduled to be commissioned in year 2020. Similarly, land for setting up 16 more new substations have been completed. The commissioning will take place likely by the end of the year, he added.