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What is hindering regular power supply to people of IT Road in Manipur?

The condition of power supply in the IT Road region is yet to meet the demand and the frequent interruption of power supply only indicates the area as not being prioritised; which is against the fundamental principle of the company in the service of humanity.

ByThanggoulal Khongsai

Updated 2 May 2022, 6:28 am

View of Gelnal Sub-Station, Kangpokpi, Manipur (PHOTOL IFP)
View of Gelnal Sub-Station, Kangpokpi, Manipur (PHOTOL IFP)

Electricity connection reached Manipur way back in 1930 with the commissioned of two hydel sets having a capacity of 100KV and 56KV at Leimakhong by the then Manipur State HE Board. Gradually, it was only during the Second Five-Year Plan (1956-61) that Manipur saw a significant change in the demand for power in the state. Ever since from its inception, the demand for power has been increasing and with the pursuing of the Electricity Act, 2013, the then State Electricity Department Manipur (EDM) was unbundled and corporatized into two state-owned independent entities i.e Manipur State Power Company Limited (MSPCL) and Manipur State Power Distribution Company (MSPDCL) with effect from February 1, 2014.

The former MSPCL (TRANSCOM) is responsible for the transmission line and power Sub-Station of Manipur power utility and are responsible for the management of 1) .440KV line 2) .132 KV (EHV) Extra High voltage line 3).33 KV line. Whereas, the later MSPDCL (DISCOM ) mainly look after the distribution of power supply and are responsible for the operation and maintenance of 1) 11 KV line 2) 0.440KV line 3) 0.230 KV line 4) Service connection 5) Revenue Collection 6) Distribution of Transformers 7) Street light etc. However, despite with such a vast power and responsibility vested on the company, the condition of power supply in the region of IT Road is yet to meet the essential requirements and the frequent interruption of power supply only indicates the area as not being prioritised; which is against the fundamental principle of the company in the service of humanity.

Present Day IT Road Power Condition:

Yes, there exist two sub stations in the area. The one at Gelnal sub-station consist of only six working staffs and the other is situated at Tamei. This two sub-station, 11 KV, supplies major areas of IT Road and is maintained by DISCOM.

Given the present situation, it is not reliable to carry out day-to-day activities with repeated power cut caused on a daily basis. Thanks to the state government for the initiative to ease the living condition of the people, almost every household are now dependent on power supply to meet their working demands. However, this oft repeated power cut not only indicates the area being a neglected region but also indicates the quantum of authority's apathy.

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With the opening of schools and other establishments, day-to-day business exclusively depends on electricity. There are number of students who could not afford solar lamps for their night studies.

Power cut has become a burden of knowledge gain and a new misery. Erratic power supply keep work on hold and affects livelihood. It is undeniable that the region equally needs power supply as to that of the valley.

Meanwhile, the total number of 11KV consumers I.e both from Gelnal and Tamei sub-station could be close to 1,500 in term of households or may be even more. Thanks to postpaid and power subsidy from the government, if I may correctly mention, that each household paid Rs 200 as a part of the monthly power bill irrespective of the quantity they consumed. This may be a reasonable amount for the people whose majority households' economic and financial conditions are still below the poverty line. It may also be known that this minimum sum of Rs 200 is still a far-fetched dream to arrange for many penury households of the areas.

Being located in a hilly tract, the region of IT Road is not of easy reach from the district Headquater, Kangpokpi. Rough surface filled with multiple potholes everywhere, the condition of the road is the main reason for delay in electrical technicians and working staffs rushing to the spot in time whenever disruption or technical failure of power occurred. It is for this reason that untrained locals who are not even well verse with electrical engineering or have no electricity background often risk their lives in the interest of the public to resolve the electrical problems. Not realizing the hazard of electricity, the locals are not even provided with electrical kits and wears while working to fix line disruption. This is the present scenario where the locals are becoming unpaid lineman and untrained technician with any safety gears risk their lives in helping to solve the problem of poor power supply in the area.

The conundrum and the way forward:

Strictly speaking, it may not be a cakewalk for the government and authority concerned to expedite in resolving the present pathetic power supply condition on IT Road as there exist multiple problems that deems it necessary to look at. For instance, the all round existing of high terrain in the areas where the input wire 33KV and output 11KV passed over the jungles, letting trees and bamboos an easy hit at the wires. This caused disruption of power often particularly during rainy and windy season. This highly exacerbated power condition can be overcome by stretching the wires across the side of the main road. This will in turn ease the hectic work of linemen during their search for line disruption and add to their work efficiency.

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The number of human labours or working staffs is short. As cited above, there exist only six staffs at Gelnal Sub-Station, whereas the number may be less or same at Tamei sub Station. More surprisingly, absent of Technician at the station is very much common throughout the year who are to deal with the technical issues whenever emergency or technical threat occurs. Also, there should be enough staffs and linemen from both 33KV and 11KV  department to operate on every working days. This may served the public the rights to get their efficient electricity without a day or more delayed of power cuts.

Over the past four or more years of operation of electricity in the region, the installed post and wires have not been replaced until today. Some of the existing installed old posts are on the verge of falling. They need immediate attention. There is also a handful length of the present stretching wires that are found rusted and in need of urgent replacement.

Having to ignore the present problems of wires and posts may not only disrupt the power condition of the area but also pose a grave concern to the people of IT Road.

Meanwhile, length of wires that are made to passed over the trees and bamboos are prone to hit wires during this season and thus, require vigilance efforts to keep the wire on checks.

Power being part of our basic and most essential needs, efforts in providing efficient and uninterrupted power supply to public by the department concerned should be aided by regular payment of bills. This will, henceforth, ensure better and quality power supply in the hills area of IT Road.

(The views expressed are personal

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First published:2 May 2022, 6:28 am

Tags:

power supplyIT RoadmspclElectricity

Thanggoulal Khongsai

Thanggoulal Khongsai

The author is from Gelnal village, Kangpokpi, Manipur, former GYC Secy. Author can be reached at thangoulalkhongsai@gmail.com

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