Congress leaders condemn unprecedented power-cuts in isles

Port Blair
2 Feb 2017

A massive dharna was staged on Thursday in front of the Electricity Department by the Pradesh Congress Committee led by Mr Kuldeep Rai Sharma, president PCC in protest of the deteriorating  power scenario in A&N Islands leading to excessive, unpredicted and unprecedented power cut in various Islands  including Port Blair and its adjoining areas. The dharna was also attended by leaders and supporters from Mahila Congress, Youth Congress, Seva Dal and more importantly, large number of local residents of South Andaman anguished and aggrieved with the erratic and long power cuts.
Inviting attention of Lieutenant Governor, Mr Sharma condemned and raised serious objection over the inaction of the administration and the electricity department in resolving the power crisis scenario in the Islands. He said, owing to inefficiency of  higher-ups in taking decision , the Islanders are subjected to long and erratic power cuts as most of the diesel generators departmentally installed or hired from the independent power producers for delivering electric power are either non-functional or are operating at lower capacity .
Referring to the power crisis scenario of South Andaman, he said that the peak power requirement of South Andaman is around 38 MW, whereas the collective power generating capacity of the existing diesel generating sets is over 60 MW. The increasing number of non-operational and underperforming departmentally owned diesel generators and unproductive implementation of contracts executed with the three independent power producers namely Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd., M/s Sudhir Ready Genset Consortium and M/s New Bharat Engineering Works have given birth to the present power crisis. Referring to the statistics Shri Sharma said the three independent power producers are collectively responsible for providing 35MW power but they are providing only 13.5 MW and this huge deficiency in supply has created the power crisis. The Electricity department and the administration need to take stringent action on these erring independent power producers in accordance with the provisions of the contract agreement and should immediately revive the ever-deteriorating  the power scenario in South Andaman.
He further emphasized that if appropriate action is not taken immediately the crisis is going to worsen with many more diesel sets becoming non-operational and the agreement with Suryachakra Power Corporation Ltd. coming to end during April 2018. Referring to the plan of Electricity Department to have 100 percent green energy and to do away with the diesel generating sets,  Shri Sharma said, the initiative is worth appreciating and his party also supports establishment of 100 percent pollutant-free green energy by means of installation of solar power plants at different locations in the Islands and replacement of diesel operated generators with  LNG operated power plants, but till such time these proposals turns into reality and starts delivering power we cannot neglect the existing system of generating power troubling the citizens. The transition from one system of power generation to another system need to smooth and gradual with systematic phasing out of diesel generating sets, so that the Islanders are not subjected to long and erratic power cuts.
The other leaders speaking on the occasion also described the indiscriminate power cuts as most unfortunate for students, with final examination fast approaching during the month of March. The shops, workshops, small industries, restaurants, hotels etc. all are getting adversely affected by the poor power supply scenario. As presence of electricity is indicative of development and prosperity of a society, such long spell of power cuts in various part of the Port Blair town renders darkening of roads, streets, parks and other places of public utility casting negative impact on tourism and on tourist visiting these Islands.  The dharna ended peacefully demanding early restoration of round-the-clock power supply.