Rampant electricity theft affecting revenue, power supply in Nagaland
Says people should pay electricity bills for stable power supply in the state
Dimapur, Dec 9 (EMN): The department of Power is striving towards providing uninterrupted electricity to the people of Nagaland but the state’s economy is unable to bear ‘extremely high revenue leakages’ caused by rampant power theft, according to KD Vizo, Principal Secretary (Power).
Vizo said this during the unveiling of 132/66/33 KV sub-station which was upgraded to 2×100 MVA on Wednesday at Nagarjan sub-station, Dimapur. The advisor of Power department, Tovihoto Ayemi, inaugurated the sub-station, which supplies electricity to Dimapur and Peren districts.
Dimapur district alone consumes around 50% of the state’s power and also has the maximum revenue leakage due to power theft, stated Vizo, adding that it puts tremendous pressure on the department of power to get revenue, which is necessary for providing uninterrupted power supply.
‘At times, we feel if we should go on providing free power,’ he said, and appealed to the citizens of Nagaland in general and the citizens of Dimapur district in particular to pay electricity bills and assist the department in checking power theft so that they can ensure stable power supply in the state.
Vizo also appealed to the citizens to conserve energy and reduce unnecessary usage, saying that electricity, like any other infrastructure, has overriding declared social responsibilities, obligations and objectives, and there is a need to provide power at an affordable cost.
Realising that “power being the engine of growth of any developing economy and no major economic activity can sustain without adequate and reliable power supply”, he said the department has come up with a power policy to turn it around from heaving loss-making to profit-making sector, and also ‘introduce latest state of art technologies to modernise the power distribution, transmission and generation systems’.
The power policy also aims at improving the overall efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the department of power, and achieve the goal of 24×7 powers supply, he said. ‘Domestic power consumption in our state is about 85% of the total consumption and we have very low industrial load. And for the last 10 years, there has been increase of 7-10% in the normal demand annually, and it is still increasing especially in Dimapur,’ he added.
‘By 2021, our demand will touch almost 450 Megawatt (MW) and therefore a realistic approach towards development of power sector should be in place to handle the projected demand in all the sectors such as generation, transmission, distribution, power procurement plan etc.,’ he stated.
The principal secretary informed the small hydro projects in the state has the capacity to generate only 26.74 MW, which is why a bulk of state’s power requirement is purchased from the central PSU-generating units operating in the Northeast region and eastern region.
‘Currently, there is shortfall of hydro power generation in eastern region, so the department is rationing the supply of electricity throughout the state on a rotational basis and there is tremendous pressure to have our own hydro power generation stations,’ he said while appealing to the public to use power wisely.
Ayemi also appealed to the public to pay electricity bills as consumers. ‘When we pay, the department gets revenue and with that revenue, we purchase power from outside as we have very small generating units,’ he added.
He assured that the Power department will do whatever is possible to improve the infrastructural gaps and thanked the engineers and people of the area for their support and enabling the government to fulfil the vision of providing uninterrupted power supply across the state.
‘It is the aim and priority of the state government to bring social and economic development all over the state by carrying out various developmental works,’ Ayemi said. He also encouraged the officials and staff of the Power department to continue working tirelessly with utmost dedication for a better tomorrow.
Power outages to continue
Engineer-in-chief of Power department, Shikato Sema said that there won’t be relief from power cuts despite upgrading the sub-station. He said the handling capacity has been increased to 200 MVA but ‘there is shortage of power from the source as we buy power from outside, and due to the dry season, hydro-power generation is not generating enough and our allocation is much lesser than the requirement’.
However, he said that the handling capacity of the sub-station is enough for now, provided power is supplied from the sources, and it is getting loaded up to 160-170 MVA.
Highlighting the requirements of the department, he said there are two 100 MVA at the voltage level of 132/66 KV and 132/33 KV respectively at present but in the event of any outage of one of the transformers, there will be deep power crisis and “therefore there is a need to have an intermediate transformer of at least 50 MVA capacity of 66/33 KV for either stepping down or stepping up as the situation demands to avoid serious blackouts”.