Treat For WB Soccer Fans As Power Utilities Bury Hatchet

Kolkata, May 30: | Updated: May 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
Copa Mundial has compelled power utilities here to bury the hatchet, at least till June 30, the concluding day of the World Cup football tournament. A well-intended concern for viewers of the greatest football jamboree.

Just a day before the tournament is to be inaugurated, Damodar Valley Corp (DVC) has agreed to suspend regulation of power supply to RP Goenka-owned CESC Ltd from May 31. DVC, owned by the Centre and the governments of West Bengal and Jharkhand, has been regulating power supply to CESC since May 25 after CESC failed to clear its dues.

National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) has also agreed not to regulate power during the period to other utilities.

The man who helped bring about the truce is West Bengals power minister, Mr Mrinal Banerjee. He held a meeting with representatives of all the utilities operating in the state and urged them to gear up generation as well as to look after the distribution network properly so that viewers do not suffer.

Apart from CESC, DVC and NTPC, representatives of West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) and West Bengal Power Development Corp (WBPDCL) were also present.

Meanwhile CESC Ltd, which caters to Kolkata and adjoining areas, said it has made all arrangements to ensure uninterrupted supplies during the World Cup.

CESCs executive director for distribution, DN Mozumdar, said fault repairing facilities have been provided at each district office to tackle exigencies round-the-clock and restore supply if there is any outage.

It has deployed 136 mobile emergency units equipped with wireless sets. Senior officials will coordinate all emergency operations. Normally, CESC takes two to 2-1/2 hours to repair a fault in low tension (LT) lines and three to 3-1/2 hours for high tension (HT) lines. On an average, 50-60 faults occur in LT lines per day and less than two in HT lines.

CESCs transmission and distribution network includes 1,328 circuit km (ckt km) of transmission lines, 3,403 ckt km HT distribution lines and 9,151 ckt km LT distribution lines, of which 5,093 ckt km are underground and 4,058 ckt km are over head.

CESCs generating stations have also been geared up to ensure that there is no shortage of power during the transmission of World Cup telecast.

The company owns a generating capacity of 1,065mw while the maximum system demand is around 1,240mw. It imports power from WBSEB and DVC to meet the shortfall.

DVC, which imposed regulations on power supply to CESC from May 25, backed by a court order, has temporarily agreed to suspend such regulation from May 31. Although CESC is not paying the current bill in full and has not paid the arrears, DVC has agreed to such suspension in response to the state governments advice.