IMPHAL, July 8: A new administrative system will be set up by the state government to enhance the functioning of state power department which is currently facing problems in terms of erratic power supply and collection of bills, stated Chief Minister Okram Ibobi in the House today while clarifying to the Motion for Disapproval of Policy Cut raised by Dr I Ibohanbi, L Ibomcha and P Brojen to the demand for power department.
Chief Minister Ibobi further stated that the agreement for setting up a new administrative system has been signed and an order has also been issued. However, the recommendations from the other party are still awaited.
The electricity department must set up complaint rooms in every district and sub-division and the bill counter must be kept at a convenient place. However, such things could be fulfilled due to shortage of manpower and infrastructure. Many employees are near their superannuation period and no fresh employees have been recruited. The equipments used by the department have also become outdated as they have been used for the past 20/30 years, Ibobi noted.
Chief Minister contended that the new administrative system aims to augment revenue collection and ensure regular supply of electricity. The new system will not affect the service security and retirement benefits of the employees, he averred.
Ibobi also mentioned that the Science and Technology Department and MANIREDA will set up solar power plants in remote villages of hill districts where electric posts and wires cannot be installed easily. Solar power plants will also be installed at the Assembly Secretariat, hospitals and market places. Also, low power consumption CFL and LED street-lamps will be put up at Nagamapal and Kangla Park on trial basis, the Chief Minister said.
The state government purchases 30 MW power from the NHPC which is running the Loktak Hydroelectric Project. Moreover, the state receives 12 percent power at free of cost from the NHPC for using the water of Loktak Lake. The power supply in the state can be improved if the Loktak Downstream Project is completed. The completion of Loktak Downstream Project has been delayed due to the murder of one NHPC engineer by unknown gunmen. The state government also needs to construct the approach road of the Loktak Downstream Project, Ibobi stated.
He also maintained that Manipur is the only northeastern state which cannot sell power to other states. Strict action will be taken against those employees involved in giving unauthorized power connections, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi asserted.