Herald: When you don’t get the power supply you have paid for!

When you don’t get the power supply you have paid for!

19 May 2019 05:19am IST
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19 May 2019 05:19am IST
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For the last decade and more, the electricity bills Goans have to pay have been steadily rising. One would expect that the power supply would correspondingly improve but despite tall promises about technological advances and how the situation would change; Goans still have to bear the brunt of the problems due to power outages, delays in addressing complaints, which affects the common man and business across the State. HERALD analyses the ground scenario

Goa, whose power demand witness rise every year, is unfortunately relying on outdated electricity system to deliver us the power we need. The State’s electricity infrastructure is simply not keeping up with the times with its consumers being the ultimate sufferers.  Against this backdrop, Power Minister Nilesh Cabral is looking to upgrade the decades-old infrastructure to more reliable systems. 

The State Power department is all set to transform, upgrade and strengthen its outdated infrastructure at an estimated cost of over Rs 1000 crore in next two years to ensure that its consumers receive uninterrupted power supply. The project also aims at reducing the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) loss at 5 percent to 7 percent against the present 18 percent. 

The peak demand of Goa is around 644 MW, which witness sharp rise every year.  As on date, the power demand is 594MW. The total firm allocation of power from central sector is approx 550-575 MW. In addition, the department also purchases power from Co-generation stations within state and short term power procurement from the market, Traders, DEEP portal.

Department spends whopping Rs 1200 crore annually on purchase of power. The State government bears the difference of Rs 300 crore that comes after calculating the cost of power purchase, cost of transmission and salary. 

“The problem is not shortage of power. There is sufficient power to meet the daily requirement of our consumers. But the problem is with the infrastructure, which has not been upgraded for last 30-40 years,” a senior officials from power department told HERALD. 

Official said that the department has already prepared a detail project for infrastructure upgradation and the administrative approval for the same is been received. “The total cost of the project is over Rs 1000 crore and it would be completed and commissioned in phase manner over next two years,” official said adding ‘once the ongoing election code is lifted, the work will commence’. 

The upgradation will include replacement of conductors, transformers, new underground cables, overhead cables, poles, etc. The project will be taken up under Central government schemes as well as State government funding. 

“We want to ensure that people of Goa get uninterrupted power supply,” official said. 

The department, which is currently facing serious problem of T&D losses which is estimated to be between 18 percent to 20 percent, intends to reduce the same to 5 percent to 7 percent. “The upgradation of infrastructure will help us to control the power pilferage and T&D losses,” he stated. 

State has to depend upon central power allocation as it is not possible to have a power generating units in Goa considering that coal is the required source and it leads to pollution. “Hence, we have finalize solar policy, wherein we are encouraging people to generate non-renewable power for their self consumption,” official said. 

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