Majority of the works proposed and approved nearly four years ago for reinforcement of power distribution network in the core city are still lagging much behind their targets, and indications are aplenty that a few of them might have been dumped altogether.
Progress related to works such as 11kv underground cabling and aerial-bunched cabling (AB Cabling) puts snails to shame, while the underground cabling of LT (Low Tension) lines has been stopped altogether except on a few patches in the South Circle of CPDCL Metro Zone.
The Central Power Distribution Company had, under the stewardship of its former CMD M.T. Krishna Babu, proposed 240 kilometres of underground cabling and 55 kilometres of aerial-bunched cabling of 11kv lines in what was termed as the ‘Hyderabad Urban Agglomeration’, back in 2010. Also proposed were works such as AB cabling and re-conductoring of LT lines, erection of distribution transformers and replacement and shifting of meters.
The works were to be carried with Central Government funding under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APDRP), with 25 per cent of it as grant and the rest as loan from the Power Finance Corporation. A total of Rs.806.78 crore was approved to be sanctioned for the project with the implementation duration of three years.
While the project has reportedly got an extension, there are few indications that all the proposed works would be carried out even now. In quite a few cases, the originally proposed amount of work has been revised, and yet only a fraction of the revised work stands completed.
For nearly 140 kilometres of 11kv underground cabling within the metro zone as per the revised proposals, as little as 3.5 kilometres has been done in all the three circles. While the 11kv AB cabling proposals have been enhanced to cover nearly 100 kilometres, all within the metro zone, not even 10 kilometres has been achieved up to February 28. There is not much progress even in reconductoring or AB cabling of low tension lines.
Officials from CPDCL are evasive of a reply, and simply say that the funds were diverted for more “useful work”. They also claim that few expert hands are available to carry out AB cabling works, while underground cabling involves heavy expenditure for road-cutting.