State wants Centre to pay actual cost

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State wants Centre to pay actual cost

Friday, 19 July 2019 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR

The State Government urged the Centre to provide actual cost of restoration work in power sector in the State damaged due to cyclone Fani. Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha has been approached by the State Government in this regard.

Sinha is the Chairman of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), which came to rescue of the State during super storm Fani. Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi is the member of the NCMC.

While actual cost for restoration of power network damaged due to Fani is around Rs 1,160 crore, items admissible under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) come to Rs 700 crore, leaving a gap of Rs 500 crore.

Chief Resident Commissioner TK Pandey and Resident Commissioner Sanjeeb Kumar Mishra are in constant touch with the Cabinet Secretariat as CRC Office is taking up the matter with the Union Government.

At the same time, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Union Ministry of Power and Union Ministry of Finance are being approached by the senior officials for the purpose.

The State Government took up restoration of power infrastructure on a war footing from its own resources. However, the scale of damage to the power infrastructure is far too extensive, to be taken care of by the State alone, pointed out State Energy Secretary Hemant Sharma.

Power infrastructure in Puri, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada and Baleswar districts has been extensively damaged, while over 46.27 lakh electricity consumers were affected due to Fani. Over 2.19 crore electric poles and 1.30 lakh km conductors were damaged. Besides, large scale damage occurred to 11 KV line, distribution transformers and low transmission (LT) lines. 12,042 distribution transformers and 18,049 high tension (HT) feeders too were damaged.

According to present NDRF norms, for repair of damaged power sector, assistance is given for damaged conductors, poles and transformers up to 11 KV only. Even the scale of assistance for the admissible items is highly inadequate, pointed out Sharma.

So relaxation of norms under NDRF/SDRF is needed as the transmission and distribution companies are not in a position to finance these restoration works, urged Sharma, while raising the issue with the Union Ministry of Power. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also requested the Union Minister Home Affairs in this regard for relaxation of norms of NDRF/SDRF guidelines to provide actual cost of restoration work damaged due to Fani. The Members of Parliament from Odisha have also been urged to take up the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs as MHA has the administrative control on the NDRF. So all-out efforts are being taken up with the Government of India for relaxation of the NDRF/SDRF norms enabling the provision of actual cost of restoration work, said a senior official.

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