Fani Aftermath: Normalcy Restored For 24 Lakh Power Consumers In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Extremely severe cyclone Fani resulted in extensive damage of power sector infrastructure in several districts across Odisha. The devastation in Puri district was the maximum. However, tireless efforts of the employees Energy Department and its allied wings result in normalizing situation for more than 24 lakh consumers in a record time.

Energy Department headed by the Secretary Hemant Sharma and senior officials of CESU and OPTCL have been working on war footing with no break since onset of Fani on May 3.

Sharma convenes a meeting every morning with the team of key officials to review the progress and planning. The responsibilities have been divided in to three major areas – manpower, materials and money.

Manpower issues like accommodation and fooding are managed by Rajendra Senapati, Director (HRD), OPTCL and his HR team. Procurement of materials is managed by Bibhu Prasad Mahapatra, Director (Finance), OPTCL and Pravakar Mohanty, Director Finance (OHPC).

The material mobilization is looked after by SK Swain, CGM (Tech), CESU and his team. The overall activities are coordinated by Md. Sadique Alam, CEO CESU.

In addition to mobilization of workers from local contractors, skilled and experienced workers were also mobilized from out of the States like West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana.

Around 800 gangs were engaged initially in Bhubaneswar and which are now working in Puri in full swing to bring back complete normalcy.

“While gangs in thousands were mobilized to various sites, but their optimum utilization depended upon effective supervision. By deputing engineering staffs from unaffected districts under WESCO, SOUTHCO and NESCO, we ensured that each location has at least one Junior Engineer to supervise the work. Apart from technical supervision, their fooding and accommodation care has ensured for optimum output,” said Sharma.

Considering the severity of the damage in Puri District, the restoration which would have taken not less than six months in regular course of time, the normalcy in power supply could be restored in about a month due to the tiresless efforts of the State Power Sector employees working in cohesion, he added.

The devastation caused by FANI was so severe that the entire transmission and distribution network was uprooted and electrical installations needed to be erected afresh in the most parts of Puri district.

So far 1,25,000 new poles have been erected in the affected areas of CESU along with stringing of around 80,000 kms of HT/LT lines. Besides, more than 1000 feeders of 33 and 11 KV, 272 nos of 33/11 KV sub-stations, 60,000 distribution transformers have also been restored.

Further, 2,388 water supply points in the cyclone-affected areas have been made operational. Sincere efforts of the officials have made it possible to provide power supply to 24.14 lakh electricity consumers.