The electricity supply in Jharkhand may see a huge improvement from next year onwards, with the state government deciding to set up new power grids and sub-stations besides upgrading the existing infrastructure.
As many as 10 new power grids and 35 power sub-stations will be set up, and massive upgrade and repair work in the power sector will be carried out by September 2015, energy department officials said.
Also, the electricity consumers will be able share their problems and give suggestions to the four newly constituted power corporations on their Facebook pages, the officials said, adding that the move will help improve the supply across the state.
About 75% of the state's population has access to electricity.
The state has been experiencing frequent outages for more than a fortnight because of deficit of about 250 MW in power generation.
The areas like Chas, Bokaro, Giridih and Jamtara have witnessed power cuts of up to 20 hours a day in recent days.
Sources said the state government's lackadaisical attitude to pay the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) was one of the main reasons for worsening power situation in Jharkhand.
The government owes about Rs. 450 crore as dues to DVC, because of which the corporation is allegedly "regulating" the power supply to the state.
Energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh, however, said the government was taking steps to improve the power scenario.
"We are working 24x7 to improve the power scenario in Jharkhand. The situation has improved partially including in the state capital from Thursday with additional 350 MW generation. Power supply was 909 MW on Friday," he said, while also promising that the DVC's dues would be paid within a fortnight.
The minister directed the officials of four power corporations to keep their cell phones in active mode and listen to grievances of consumers.
"I can assure that Jharkhand will get uninterrupted power supply from next year," he said during an event in the city.
The chairman-cum-managing director of the Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL), SN Verma, said that 10 new grids constructed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited at a cost of Rs. 1,300 crore would come up in Jharkhand by September 2015.
The grids are coming up in view of the new power plants that would start generation by next year.
"With 10 new power grids, the number of grids in Jharkhand will reach 34.
Besides, 35 new sub-stations will also be set up within a year in the state," Verma said.
Interestingly, while the power load in the state has gradually increased after the formation of Jharkhand in 2000, the workforce of the electricity board has reduced sharply.
The current workforce is only 35 percent of the total requirement.
The power load has increased from 400 MW in 2000 to 2200 MW in 2014.
"We will soon recruit 5,000 employees in Jharkhand," Verma said.
Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) managing director KK Verma promised that Ranchi would get uninterrupted power supply from next year with 15 new power sub-stations and 2,000 new transformers under Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms