Editorial

Power on standby

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/10/2019 11:58:58 AM IST

 Power in theory and powerless in practise seems to be the prescription for the suffering power consumers of Nagaland. With arrival of summer, frequent and long duration of power cuts have made summer heat and extreme humidity unbearable. According to reports power fluctuates between 65-70 MW approximately in Dimapur. The Department of Power (DoP) has been facing the same crisis every year and despite efforts to reduce the woes of consumers through various administrative decisions and technical solutions, the situation has not changed. The DoP continues to grapple with its efforts at building adequate capacities in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure to attain energy security and handling and to achieve 24x7 power for all by 2021. That is now around two years to go but at the current rate of performance, it does not inspire much hope for the harassed consumers. In the past several years, it was almost a regular feature of the department to announce loss amounting to around of over Rs.100 crore annually which was blamed on supposed theft and pilferage. The accumulated total loss from all these has been pegged at around 55% to 60% which is equivalent to 30MW to 40MW out of the total power that the state receives. When the power loss in Nagaland is almost 50% and double the national average, it only calls for serious probe on why this abnormal figure continues to plague power supply and most interestingly, accepted as that for so many years. Inefficiency cannot be allowed to get away under the guise of ‘transmission loss’, when consumers are handed contestable bills owing to improper metering or inefficiency. In some districts, burnt transformers have not been replaced for several weeks and even months. Power engineers also lament that they are faced with acute shortage of field staff and despite several appeals, nothing much has been done. The department’s woes has been compounded by the fact that most of its current equipments such as transformers for transmission and distribution are overloaded and cannot handle the increased capacities. As a result, several transformers have burnt out, causing more problems since the department has no spares and not speak of higher capacity transformers that it should have acquired in anticipation of the situation. The acute shortage of power totally negates the very concept of economic development since business without power means losses. Even sensitive equipments are damaged due to power fluctuations and has caused huge losses to business, especially storage and small units that are wholly dependent on power supply. Generators are meant as stand by but in the prevailing circumstances, they have become the mainstay and the power from the department ,has become the standby. It may be recalled that the Association of Power Engineers Nagaland (APEN) has been raising the issue in public domain in order to make consumer aware about the situation that the department is in. APEN had also warmed of a likely and impending collapse of the power system in Nagaland. All those visions of the state’s planners will be a mirage unless the power situation improves as there cannot be any economic progress in the state. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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