State manages power crisis

Bhubaneswar: As many states continued to struggle in darkness due to unprecedented grid collapse today, the state managed to restore electricity in 70 per cent area within three hours. Odisha Energy Minister Atanu S Nayak told PTI, "We have been able to provide power to consumers in less then 3 hours of the eastern grid collapse by drawing electricity from different hydro-power generation stations, captive power plants and state`s own thermal units.

"We immediately supplied power to Railways on priority basis as passengers are standard at many stations," he said adding the state government had also supplied power to thermal electricity generation centres of NTPC at Kanhia and Talcher for it to `start up`. "We have decided to go for periodic power cuts in certain areas till the situation normalises," he said.

Claiming that most of the 30 districts of the state were now being supplied electricity, the minister, however, admitted that Balasore, Bhadrak, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts were in darkness. The state government was optimistic of restoring normalcy very soon after generation of power from NTPC`s thermal units began, he said.

While the state was availing about 900 MW from different hydel power units, it got about 400 MW from captive generation plants. About 380 MW of power was also availed from state`s own thermal power plant at Ib valley area. The state requires another 1,000 MW during peak hours which it gets from the eastern grid and central pool.

Asked about restoration of power, Nayak said, "Once NTPC`s Kanhia and Talcher thermal power units become operational, we will get the total generation as power cannot be sent to any other state under the prevailing situation." On the impact of the eastern grid collapse on Odisha, Grid Corporation of Odisha (GRIDCO) Director (Commercial) P K Pradhan said distribution of electricity was disrupted in the entire state for a couple of hours except some parts in its western region.

Places including Sambalpur, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Burla, Bargarh and Bolangir district in western Odisha were unaffected as there was no disruption in power supply. The power outage hit train services in areas under East Coast Railway (ECoR) jurisdiction for about one-and-a-half hours, ECoR sources said.

As a result, 13 mail express trains like Puri-New Delhi Neelachal Express, Mysore-Howrah Express, Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express, Tirupathy-Santragachhi Express, Villupuram- Kharagpur Express, Dhauli Express, Pondicherry-Bhubaneswar Express and five passenger trains were stranded enroute at different stations, they said. Train services were normalised in Palasa-Bhadrak section at 14.45 hrs, they added.