VIJAYAWADA: Minister for energy, forest and environment Balineni Srinivasa Reddy said that the Chief Minister has directed the Energy Department to be on high alert and fully focus on relief works in flood affected areas and no official concerned can leave the villages until the entire power restoration operations are completed in view of increasing flood situation in River Godavari.
During a teleconference held with the officials of power utilities on Tuesday, the minister for energy said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been continuously monitoring and giving clear instructions for facing the flood situation in East and West Godavari districts.
The Chief Minister categorically said that no village can be left without power supply and the department should swiftly act and instructed to restore power supply in flood affected villages on a war footing. Accordingly, the energy department acted immediately and as a result, the power supply was restored to all villages by Monday itself except three small habitations in West Godavari district. The restoration works would be completed in those habitations also by Tuesday.
Energy secretary Srikant Nagulapalli informed the minister that the power supply got affected in 19 habitations in Polavaram mandal and 20 habitations in Veleripadu mandal in West Godavari district due to inundation of lines and consequent falling down of electric poles.
“With the help of local people and public representatives, restoration of power supply has been completed in all these villages except in three habitations. Men and material were deployed on a war footing and every care has been taken to face any kind of emergency,” he said.
He cautioned the officials that they cannot relax in view of decrease in flood as there were indications of increasing flood in river. “We have to be ready to face any emergency situation and help people. Any complaint related to power supply should be addressed within 24 hours. All the required men and material should be kept ready to restore the power in case of any damage,” he said.
The secretary further told the power utilities that AP should be a model in face of natural disasters and accordingly focus to develop an ‘Electrical Emergency Action Plan’ to continue operations in the event of a weather emergency and safely and efficiently restore power supply within 24 to 48 hours.
This kind of plan could help to reduce uncertainty after a disaster such as floods, cyclones, heavy gales etc., and allow the officials to better plan for short and long-term power restoration operations on a war footing and mitigate financial and infrastructure related loss as well.
The secretary also said that as uninterrupted power supply was our ultimate goal, the energy department should put the official machinery, particularly the power utilities on high alert, at all times to face any kind of emergency and should place fool-proof arrangements that will help to restore power supply to the areas, especially in coastal districts, which get affected in adverse weather conditions, within a short period.
Officials have to exercise preventive measures for ensuring zero interruptions and get ready to face any eventualities, especially during the monsoon, and restore any interruption normally within 24 hours of the breakdown even during unexpected weather conditions.
The minister also suggested that it is extremely important to have a contingency plan for continuing operations in the event of a weather emergency as the first 24-48 hours are critical in restoring normalcy. He added that it is also important to ensure that electricity equipment is properly maintained, develop a safety programme that incorporate emergency procedures and be aware of the most current natural disaster recovery standards. “Our ultimate motto should be zero interruptions at any cost,” he said.
He also suggested that customer care call centres are also in place to work continuously round-the-clock during natural calamities and floods and information on the status of restoration of supply will be reported timely.
More importantly, all the employees from lineman to chairman should be on high alert until complete restoration takes place during this period....