The Odisha government on Thursday said it will develop a Rs 19,000 core disaster resilient power infrastructure in the state's nine coastal districts frequently struck by natural calamities such as cyclones.
The project will be implemented within three years in two phases, officials said.
The first phase will cover four districts - Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Jagatsinghpur and an estimated Rs 11,000 crore will be spent on building up the disaster-resilient electrical framework.
Similar infrastructure will be set up in five other coastal districts of Puri, Cuttack, Khurda, Ganjam and Gajpati in the second phase at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore, officials said.
"The resilient power system will yield a number of benefits like quick restoration of power supply after a
disaster. Its high resilience to wind pressure will save public property caused by cyclones and also reduce the chances of accidents, cater to demand growth and contain the extent of transmission and distribution loss," Grid Corporation of Odisha (GRIDCO) Finance Director Gagan Swain said.
At a high-level meeting, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy directed the departments concerned to implement the project on an emergency basis.
He asked the GRIDCO and the Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited to form a think tank to add expertise on
technical, financial, quality monitoring and other related issues of the project.
Additional Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena suggested making overhead cables and poles resilient against a wind speed of 300 kilometre per hour. The highest recorded wind speed during cyclones in the South Asia region is around 315 km per hour, he said.
Officials said it was decided that underground cabling would be done in town areas and cyclone resilient overhead
cabling in rural areas.
The GRIDCO finance director said the incubation period for the project would be three years after getting approval from the central government.