Morung Express News
Dimapur | November 13
A power transformer going up in flames in Dimapur on November 12 was a grim reminder of the wobbly infrastructure on which the state’s power distribution network relies. While the urgency is clear and present, the propensity of the Nagaland state government to ignore the power sector is even more worrying.
If the silence of the government in response to the situation is any indication, new equipment to replace the charred 20Mva transformer will not happen any time soon. Make-shift measure, albeit long drawn out, is what looms in the horizon.
Commissioner & Secretary, Power, KD Vizo when contacted today informed that department engineers were working towards resuming supply to the affected consumers using the existing transformers. It implies two transformers shouldering the load of three, which simply means increasing the frequency of load-shedding.
Queried on the prospects of the government procuring a new transformer, Vizo replied that the department had forwarded a proposal to the government to replace the existing three transformers with a composite and upgraded 100Mva version. Citing “cost constraints,” he said that the state government was still to approve the proposal.
Asked on the government’s stance on the proposal, he said, “That we’ll have to discuss with the government,” while adding, “We’re trying our best.”
He informed that to tide over the crisis or till such time a new transformer is procured, the department will install a spare of 10Mva capacity. In addition, he said that the department has requested the Power Grid Corporation Limited to lend one. That however is subject to the Corporation’s decision; and further, it is currently located somewhere in Arunachal Pradesh.
He admitted to the state power infrastructure requiring an over-hauling stating, “The power sector has been neglected for a long time; it’s time we do something about it.”
Calls made to the Power Minister remained unanswered.
Supply to Peren resumed; work on to resume supply to affected colonies and villages in Dimapur
Power supply to Peren district was resumed today via an alternate route. Chief Engineer, Transmission & Generation Rokozhalie Angami informed that Peren was being fed from Kohima. This implies increased load-shedding in the state capital as it will be sharing its allocated quota.
As regards Dimapur, Angami said that the adjoining transformer, which was affected by the heat from the charred one, did not incur much damage as initially feared. “Tests conducted today indicated that except for the radiator, which bore the brunt of the heat from the fire, the other components weren’t affected,” he said.
While not being very optimistic, he said if the refitting and subsequent “test charging” goes without hitch supply should resume by Tuesday morning or evening.
On resumption, the supply however will be regulated as two will be doing the work of three, he said. The areas, which were being fed from the charred transformer, will now have to be hooked to the two standing transformers linked to the Burma Camp and Metha sub-stations.
On the likelihood of a new transformer, he said that it will depend on the government.
A number of department engineers, who wished to be anonymous, said that the Nagarjan sub-station needs an additional 100Mva (132/33 Kv) transformer. The common refrain was that it will do away with the current system of having several smaller capacity transformers. “Not only will it consume lesser land area, it will cut down on maintenance cost.” A transformer of that load capacity and power rating is estimated to cost around Rs. 9-10cr in the prevailing market situation.