DIMAPUR, March 12 - With impending worsening power situation in Nagaland, the Association of Power Engineers Nagaland (APEN) has written to State Chief Secretary expressing apprehension of major power breakdowns during the summer months with no capacity addition, non-purchase of transformers, spares, etc., for the last many years which have rendered the department helpless.
In the letter, APEN expressed disappointment at the deficiency in allocation of funds to State Power Department under Plan and Non Plan heads.
It cited recent incidents of power shutdowns in Mokokchung, Kiphire, Pfutsero, etc., due to damage of transformers, where power could not be restored for nearly a month and said the incidents were not surprising. Prompt replacements could not be made due to lack of funds, it added.
APEN cautioned that such recurrence of incidents �cannot be ruled out if the present trend of funding continues.�
It stated that since 2009-10, there has been deficient fund allocation to the department under State Plan and Non-Plan. It stated that under this situation, the generation, transmission, distribution, revenue, housing and communication elements of the department are going through difficulty for upkeep of its assets and related activities.
The �biggest gap�, it stated, is being felt in the major load centres of Dimapur, Chumukedima, Kohima, Mokokchung, etc., which are running under overloaded conditions, protective devices and materials in dilapidated conditions, conductors requiring upgradation, transformers starving for oil, etc.
APEN pointed out the Central Government�s view that under the new dispensation of fund of 14th Finance Commission, the State Government has been adequately provided fund for development. However, it lamented that instead of redeeming the Power Department�s plight, the State Government has meted out �step-motherly treatment by treating the Power Department as a least priority in terms of fund allocation without acknowledging electricity as an essential service.�
APEN further termed it �unfair� on the part of Nagaland Government to expect the department to deliver power to consumers without maintaining the lines and transformers.
It therefore asked the State Government to take serious note of the �avoidable impending worsening situation,� and accord �highest priority� regarding the allocation of funds to the department, under both Plan and Non-Plan heads.