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Vizag may get $114m from World Bank

Vizag may get $114m from World Bank
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The Andhra Pradesh government\'s plans to replace all overhead power supply cables with an underground cable network in the Port City has got a major booster with the World Bank agreeing to sanction $114 million for the project.

The Andhra Pradesh government's plans to replace all overhead power supply cables with an underground cable network in the Port City has got a major booster with the World Bank agreeing to sanction $114 million for the project.

The underground power cabling was mooted by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in the aftermath of Cyclone Hudhud as part of his plans to make Vizag a smart, cyclone-resistant city.

Confirming this, AP energy secretary Ajay Jain said: "The World Bank has agreed to sanction $114 million to the state exclusively for the underground power cabling of Visakhapatnam city. The state government has already approved the project and the Centre will give its approval after the detailed project report (DPR) is submitted. Work on the project will begin in the next three to four months."
"We will take up the project in a phased manner. Though the project requires over Rs 1,000 crore, we will utilise the World Bank funding, which translates into nearly Rs 700 crore, for covering the main areas in the city with the underground network," Ajay Jain said.
Jain claimed that the state government had mooted the project before the cyclone struck the city on October 12 last year, but made it public only after the city's power network was badly damaged by the cyclone that resulted in losses of over Rs 1200 crore to power utilities.
The task of preparing the DPR for the project has been entrusted to PFC Consulting Limited, a subsidiary of state-run Power Finance Corporation Limited (PFC), said a senior Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (APEPDCL) official.
In the last week of December, PFC Consulting had invited sealed bids from consultancy firms for preparation of the DPR for the project, which includes laying of underground LT (low tension), 11kV and 33kV lines in Visakhapatnam city. Four private consultancies were shortlisted and PFC will select one of them to conduct detailed studies and prepare the DPR.
"We are expecting a team of consultants to arrive in February for collection of the relevant information for the underground cabling project. We have kept all requisite reports ready," said KSN Murthy, chief general manager (operations), APEPDCL.
The consultancy firm will have to prepare the DPR for the project based on the existing distribution network in the city. According to the data submitted by EPDCL to PFC Consulting Limited, the city, which is spread over 680 sq km and has a population of 17.3 lakh, has 70 substations of 33kV capacity, 60 feeders of 33kV and 318 feeders of 11kV capacity. The total length of the low transmission lines in the city is 4028.58 km, that of 11kV lines is 2198.37 km and 33kV lines is 476.1 km. The city has 10,734 distribution transformers and 6,87,551 power consumers.
Though in the first week of December, Hyderabad-based Global Energy Consulting Engineers held a meeting with EPDCL officials on the project, the state government later told EPDCL to entrust the task of preparing the DPR to PFC Consulting Limited, said another senior APEPDCL official at the Visakhapatnam circle office.
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