Chief Minister Pema Khandu today took a review meeting of the state department of power along with Power Parliamentary Secretary Thangwang Wangham and Commissioner Power Ashish Kundra. The meeting was attended by all Chief Engineers, Superintendent Engineers and Executive Engineers of the department.
Summarizing the whole situation of power shortage in the state, Khandu expressed concern that despite being touted as the power house of India, Arunachal Pradesh is yet to meet its own power requirement.
The Superintendent Engineers, who represent power divisions that consist of two or more districts, collectively pointed out that almost all the districts face power shortage particularly during the lean period when generation of power from small hydro projects is at the lowest. They suggested proper transmission lines, purchase of additional power from central grids and maintenance of state-owned hydro projects.
The Chief Minister called for perfect coordination between the departments of power and hydro-power so that the power generated by state-owned hydro stations are judiciously and equitably distributed by the power department to consumers.
“It is embarrassing to note that where there is power generation there is no transmission lines for distribution. This has to be sorted out mutually by the concerned departments,” Khandu pointed.
The Chief Minister also raised questions over lack of revenue generation by the department, when it was admitted by all that revenue collected has been far less than the actual revenue that should have been collected in all divisions.
“The actual revenue collected is meagre compared to the actual number of consumers. This has to be seriously thought about and I request the department chalk out a fool-proof plan in this regard in consultation with the Parliamentary Secretary and Commissioner,” he said.
To the submission by the department that lack of manpower is adversely effecting its performance at the ground level, the Chief Minister asked the officials to submit its exact requirements for the government to take up. He assured that manpower requirements of the department will be positively taken care of in a phased manner.
“Power department directly deals with consumers and has to provide service 24X7, we are aware of its need to have sufficient manpower. We will ensure strengthening the department as much as possible this year and will take care of rest of the requirements in the next financial year,” Khandu assured.
Calling upon the officers to be sincere in their duty towards the people, the Chief Minister reiterated that departmental officers are the real caretakers, not the chief minister or commissioner.
“You all are permanent in the department and almost all of you are local officers. It is you who are going to serve the people till you retire whereas we politicians will come and go. So the onus is on you to decide the best possible ways to increase efficiency of the department besides earning revenue for the state exchequer,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary Thangwang Wangham too advised the officers to seriously take their responsibilities as the power department is one of the most departments of the government.
“Electricity and water are the two main commodities on which life of every citizen depends. There is a hue and cry if there is power-cut for more than two hours. Being officers of power department increases your responsibilities manifold,” he pointed.
Wangham further urged the officers, especially at the field level, to remain in their places of postings as citizens need them all the time. He also advised the senior officers to routinely take coordination meetings of their junior-level officers so that issues are sorted out or forwarded to higher authorities on time.
Earlier, the Power Commissioner gave a detailed power-point presentation on the power scenario of the state. Schemes like DDUGJY and IPDS and proposal for computerization of billing system for consumers were also discussed during the meeting.