The underground electricity cable network being developed by APEPDCL with World Bank funds would be ready before the onset of the southwest monsoon. (Representational Photo:DC)
Visakhapatnam: The underground electricity cable network being developed by APEPDCL with World Bank funds would be ready before the onset of the southwest monsoon.
The project was proposed soon after the super cyclone, Hudhud, devastated Visakhapatnam, plunging the city in darkness for over a week. The project is estimated to cost Rs 720 crore. The World Bank is providing 70 per cent of the funds and the remaining 30 per cent by the state government.
Agreements and contracts on the works were signed in 2016 and the project works were to be completed in 18 months. However, there were many hindrances including the Covid-19, which all delayed the implementation.
"The project has been completed by 80 per cent and the remaining works would be done before the start of the rainy season this year,’’ said APEPDCL chief engineer Chiranjeevi.
Talking to DC on Thursday, the CE said the project was divided into four parts. One was taken up by L&T, two by Vijay Electricals and another by Jackson Electricals. L&T has completed its work as per schedule but the other two contractors were in slow mode, he said.
Once the project is complete, transmission and distribution losses could be cut by half per cent, EPDCL director Ramesh Prasad said. The present transmission losses are six per cent, the lowest in the country.
Quality and uninterrupted power supply would be maintained during future rains and natural disasters. Many areas between the beach and the National Highway-16, which include MVP Colony, Pandurangapuram and Sagarnagar, had uninterrupted power during the recent cyclones.
The other advantages are that the city can be turned greener by growing more trees. There would be no need for pruning or cutting trees as was being done all these years, affecting the greenery, he said, adding, "This is one of the major underground cable projects in the country that AP can boast of.’’