Power supply restored. What next?

Need for new transformer urgently felt


Morung Express New
Dimapur | November 14


Electricity supply to half of Dimapur halted since Sunday, November 12 was restored on Tuesday evening.


Wapangmeren, Executive Engineer (EE), Transmission and Generation, Dimapur, informed that phased resumption of supply began around 5:00 pm bringing respite to thousands of consumers running short on water.


The EE said the resumption was done phase-wise in order to avoid over-loading, while adding that except Rangapahar Army Cantonment, supply was resumed to the urban core and other affected villages. Supply to the military cantonment would likely resume on Wednesday, it was added.


The problem however does not end there for the department as well as the consumers as it was more of a quick-fix to tide over an emergency.


While the public would not complain much as winter sets in, greater worry awaits when summer comes calling. The worry lies in the reality that the load-taking capacity of the Nagarjan Sub-station is now reduced by one-third. This simply implies increased power rationing or load-shedding and also greater chances of equipment breakdown.


The sub-station has a smaller capacity transformer (10Mva) but according to the EE, installing it would take weeks. Further, installing it will not solve the problem as it is only a temporary arrangement.


According to the Department of Power, the electricity distribution infrastructure is already constrained and the loss of one has further aggravated the situation. The Nagarajan Sub-station requires an additional 100 Mva (132/33 Kva) transformer, the department has maintained, but the state government has yet to respond to a proposal to acquire one. Efforts made to reach the state Power Minister in this regard remained unreciprocated.


With demand for power increasing by the day, the department maintains that the only solution is upgrading the existing distribution infrastructure. “To cater to the increasing demand, we seriously need new capacity addition,” said a department engineer.


Businesses, residents badly hit
While the state government choose to remain silent on the matter, the state’s protracted electricity crisis continues to take its toll on businesses and the public alike.


The black-out as a result of Sunday’s fire have been evident. Financial institutions, small industrial units and shops were gravely affected. Business at the New India Assurance Divisional office came to a grinding halt on Monday and Tuesday. Senior Divisional Manager of the Dimapur office informed that the establishment normally transacts business worth around Rs. 3 lakhs on average daily. On the loss incurred during the two days, the official commented, “That’s without considering the working hours lost; the delay and inconvenience caused to clients.”


Banks also had a tough time. The Manager of SBI Bazaar Branch informed that the branch had to run on generators. “Generators need a break to cool down, which means stopping work and lost work-hours,” he said. Several ATMs also went out of service.


Small industrial units were completely paralysed. Coolers and food warmers died in grocery stores, bakeries and other shops. One shop-keeper at Notun Bosti said her freshly ordered ice-cream went to waste.


By Monday, most of the residents in affected areas were rationing water as most of them use electricity to pump up water. The generators in town were hired.