Shimla, January 13
Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) is close to restoring 100% power across the state following the disruption by heavy snowfall a few days ago.
“We have already restored the power in around 99 per cent areas and the remaining places will get the supply back by today or tomorrow,” said HPSEBL managing director Pankaj Dadwal.
Of the total of 35,000 distribution transformers in the state, over 2,700 were damaged by heavy snowfall and rain. The districts that endured the maximum damage include Shimla, Sirmaur, Lahaul Spiti, Mandi, Kullu and Chamba. “Several lines were broken and many poles were damaged. The total loss is approximately around Rs 10 crore,” Dadwal added.
Plan ready in advance to handle exigency
We had a plan ready to handle such exigency before the snowfall. We provided the equipment in advance to ensure the restoration work goes ahead in full steam. —Pankaj Dadwal, Managing director, Himachal pradesh state electricity board limited
Restoring power in far-flung areas, especially those covered in snow at high altitude, is a tough task.
“We had decided that even senior officials will be in the field to monitor the restoration work,” Dadwal added.
Hailing the workers, HPSEBL Employee Union secretary HL Verma said the technical staff did good work despite the acute shortage of manpower. “There’s not enough staff on the ground. For the record, the HPSEBL had around 43,000 workers in 1990, which has now reduced to just 13,000. In the meantime, the consumer base has increased from 6 lakh to over 26 lakh,” Verma added.
“At the moment, 1,200-1,300 persons per year are retiring, while just 500 are being recruited. So, manpower is reducing continuously even as the consumer base and workload is constantly on the rise,” he said.