KSEB Ltd is one of the worst hit utilities in the State during the flood that hit the entire State of Kerala during August 2018. It sustained losses in all fronts viz. Generation, Transmission, Distribution . KSEBL was able to restore supply to 99.9% of the consumer premises (25.57 lakhs out of 25.60 lakhs) by putting back all the Sub Stations and most of the Distribution transformers in the flood affected area into service by 01.09.2018 itself through this mission.
District wise abstract of cost for restoration in three sectors viz. Generation, Transmission & Distribution of KSEB Ltd is given hereunder –
Five major hydro generating stations and fourteen small hydel stations of KSEB Ltd. were affected due to the flood and subsequent landslide. 10 Power Transformers were submerged, operation of 50 Substations were affected. Many transmission towers were toppled; 10 major transmission corridors became dysfunctional due to the flooding. Power Distribution in 300 odd Electrical Sections in seven Districts was severely affected. 1735 Distribution Transformers were either submerged or damaged. More than 10,000 Distribution Substations were switched off to avoid casualty. Feeding from 16,158 Nos. Distribution Transformers were affected. Service to 25.60 Lakh consumers were disrupted in the calamity. Reconstruction of 5275.80 km Distribution lines, replacement of more than three lakh Single Phase energy meters, about fifty thousand Three Phase energy meters and three Lakh ELCBs which were damaged due to submergence were required for resuming normalcy.
In addition to the above, there was continued injury resulting from loss of generation to the tune of 400 MW due to the flood and associated landslide which necessitated load restriction. KSEB was forced to procure high cost power to minimize the restriction. It was estimated that KSEB has sustained a huge loss by way of loss of revenue due to loss of load. It was assessed that the loss in this account was Rs 472.10 Crore (821 MU @ Rs 5.75 per kWH). The massive flood and landslide shattered the backbone of Electricity Infrastructure in the State.
While attempting post flood recovery measures, top most priority was given to ensure the safety of employees and the public. Installations (generating stations, substations, distribution transformers) were switched off & isolated to ensure safety of men & materials. As many as fifty substations were shut down when the water level rose alarmingly. More than 10,000 transformers were isolated in the distribution network. These installations were energized as and when the situation improved.
It was realized that if the normal systems & procedures are followed, the restoration to normalcy in seriously affected Districts would take months. Kerala then witnessed Mission ReConnect - an Operation on war footing for rebuilding the Power Infrastructure in the State. Priority was given to restore normalcy to the extent possible.
Task Forces were set up and Special Officers were assigned to ensure seamless coordination between various operating wings of KSEB and also external stakeholders. By and large the responsibility of the task forces included the following.
- Impact Assessment (identification of deeply affected Electrical Sections and demarcating areas where external help is required)
- Damage Assessment.
- Material Requirement Assessment.
- Ensuring Coordination between the various teams (internal as well as external).
- Making recommendations for optimum deployment of manpower.
- Progress monitoring, consolidation, and reporting.
- Making the public aware of the extent of damage, measures to restore the supply, safety precautions, etc including publicity through electronic & print media, public address systems etc.
A State Level Task Force (SLTF), Mission Reconnect, headed by a Deputy Chief Engineer and supported by two Executive Engineers (one in each shift) and six Asst Executive Engineers (two in each shift) was constituted to coordinate the activities at Corporate level. They were responsible for -
- Material Availability Assessment (in various Stores across the State).
- Gap Analysis (work force & material).
- Device logistics for ensuring availability of sufficient materials at the right time at the right location.
- Coordination with external agencies e.g. Government agencies like NDRF, SDMA, PGCIL etc, other DISCOMS like TANGEDCO, SPDCL (AP), TATA Power Ltd etc, companies like L&T, who are willing to extend a helping hand in the hour of need.
- Providing necessary clarification to field officers on queries regarding procedures and formalities to be adopted for successful culmination of the mission.
Five Chief Engineers were designated as District Level Special Officers for the severely affected areas. Circle Level Task force were constituted in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Haripad, Thodupuzha, Ernakulam, Perumbavoor, Thrissur, Irinjalakuda & Kalpetta by the PMU team (a dedicated technical team under the direct control of the Deputy Chief Engineers responsible for planning and implementation of Dyuthi 2021) in the Electrical Circles. This team acted as an interlinking point between State & Section Level Task Forces. Deputy Chief Engineer of the Electrical Circle was the Chairperson and EE, PMU the Convener. Deputy Chief Engineers of respective Transmission Circles (or Executive Engineers of Transmission Divisions, where Transmission Circles are not functioning within the jurisdictional areas), Electrical Inspector of the District, EEs of Electrical Divisions, AEEs of PMUs, representatives from association of pensioners, officers, workmen, contractors, wiremen & Kerala Electrical Traders Association etc, were included as members of the team. This task force worked in close coordination with people’s representatives of the area.
Section Level Task Forces were constituted in Sections identified as severely hit during this calamity. This Task Force was headed by the Assistant Executive Engineer of the concerned Subdivision. Assistant Engineer of the concerned Electrical Section was the convener. Members of the LSGD, representatives from associations of pensioners, officers, workmen, contractors, wiremen & Kerala Electrical Traders Association, consumer groups, voluntary organizations etc were included as members of the team. An officer of the level of Senior superintendent was entrusted with the task of collecting information and for dissemination of information to the local public and local media, and passing on the updated status to the state level task force.
The Ministry of Power and the Government of India has also taken keen interest in restoration of the Power infrastructure and resume normalcy in the State. A Delegation from the MoP, led by the Chief Engineer of Central Electricity Authority has conducted detailed discussion with the Members of the Board of Directors and Senior Officers of KSEB Ltd on 23.08.2018 regarding steps to be taken on various fronts to tide over the crisis consequent to the massive floods. Through consultations, immediate requirements were identified for speedy restoration.
Generation has been fully restored at all the 5 major stations and 10 SHEPs. The SHEPS which are yet to be restored are Chembukadavu - 2, Barapole and Vellathooval. Removal of mud, debris & rectification of pumps, reconstruction of road to the power houses etc are carried out in almost all the flood affected stations. Repair and renewal of equipment carried out in Panniyar HEP, Ranni - Perinadu, Mattupetty & Adyanpara SHEPs. Poringalkuthu & PLBE Power Houses were put back in service after re-assembling of equipment and repair of civil structures. Civil protection works were carried out along the penstock route of Unit 5 & 6 machines of Kakkayam HEP, for the restoration of the station. Protection walls were to be constructed extensively along with the repair and renewal of Powerhouse equipment at Adyanpara SHEP.
Generation Stations Restored After Flood as on 31-03-2019
In the transmission sector, all the ten EHT Transmission corridors and the 50 Substations which were affected by flood were restored on a war footing. Details of substations affected and restoration details are as under:
DETAILS OF SUBSTATIONS AFFECTED DUE TO FLOOD
Details of Transmission Corridors affected
In the restoration phase, resuming service to consumers was the priority for the distribution wing. The Board Management also took the following decisions to ensure faster restoration of normalcy
- Permitted the Deputy Chief Engineers of the Electrical Circles of the flood affected areas to divert the materials already available for the Centrally Assisted Projects (viz IPDS, DDUGJY) scheme works and planned works, towards emergency restoration works.
- Allowed Deputy Chief Engineers of the flood affected areas and the Chief Engineers (Distribution) to purchase Weatherproof wire which is normally procured centrally.
- Temporarily enhanced the limit of purchase through short tender quotations for WP wire, as well as for materials coming under decentralized purchase, for both Deputy Chief Engineers of the flood affected areas and the Chief Engineers (Distribution), without insisting on e tendering for such purchase.
- To utilize the services of the PET teams of the Transmission wing for carrying out testing works to be done before putting the submerged transformers and equipment back in service and to make available the insulation testers and other testing equipment from the Substations and PET.
- To utilize the vehicles of other wings for carrying out restoration activities. Also permitted the Deputy Chief Engineers of flood affected Electrical Circles to hire additional vehicles if required.
- Authorized the Deputy Chief Engineers of flood affected Electrical Circles to make 25% advance payment while engaging contractors outside the area in restoration activities if required, and to waive the security deposit in such cases, in situations demanding it.
As a welfare measure, KSEB provided free mobile charging facility to the public in Section offices & Substations and also in public places by additionally wired plug points, wherever required. Temporary supply were provided in houses where normal supply restoration is not immediately possible due to damaged and drenched circuits, with minimum facilities (one light point and one plug point with ELCB – prewired with the help of the wiremen’s associations and students of various technical institutions – Government College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, Mar Baselios College of Engineering And Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Carmel College of Engineering & Technology, Punnapra, Colleges under CUSAT and CAPE, technical cell of NSS under various colleges, Kerala Chapter of IEEE to name a few) free of cost.
KSEB has also decided to bear the cost for replacing street lights, wherever material supply is ensured by LSGD. While planning restoration, KSEB had decided to give priorities to public places like relief camps, hospitals, drinking water pumping stations etc. This has been strictly adhered to. All Relief Camps, hospitals (both government and private) and pumping stations were given connections as soon as water receded. In many of these consumer premises, the Engineering Team from KSEB went an extra mile even to the extent of making the consumer premises ready for energization, rectifying internal damage.
KSEB had internally set a goal to restore all disrupted Distribution Networks and affected Service Connections by 31.08.2018. In general, this target was achieved. However, restoration was delayed in areas where water does not recede.
To meet exigencies, KSEB Ltd had placed additional orders for PSC poles and ACSR conductor. Officers, Staff & Contractors from other areas were deployed extensively.
In its hour of need, KSEB Ltd received a helping hand offered by many. Apart from the serving employees of the affected area, the work force included staff & petty contractors from the sections not affected by the flood, licensed wireman, retired KSEB personnel, volunteers from the institutes such as ITIs, Polytechnics, Engineering Colleges etc. and skilled manpower of 120 personnel provided by Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL). The diversion of materials to the offices in flood affected areas from offices which were not affected by flood, was arranged through the Corporate Control Room. Also, the materials received from neighboring licensees were allocated to the flood affected area from the Control Room. The progress of works on a daily basis in flood affected area was consolidated by the Control Room and reported the same to the Board for issuing appropriate directions for the speedy restoration works at the field level.
KSEB was able to restore supply to 99.9% of the consumer premises (25.57 lakhs out of 25.60 lakhs) by putting back all the Sub Stations and most of the Distribution transformers in the flood affected area in to service by 01.09.2018 itself through this mission. KSEB had received vital support from the neighboring licensees in the form of supply of materials and skilled manpower. In this regard, M/s. TSSPDCL (Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd.) donated 100 Nos of 100kVA transformers & 20,000 single phase energy meters, M/s HESCOM (Hubli Electricity Supply Company) donated 50 Nos. of 100kVA transformers, M/s GESCOM( Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company) donated 48 Nos. of 100kVA transformers, M/s TATA POWER donated 14 Nos. of RMUs (Ring Main Units) & 473 km of WP(weather Proof) wire, M/s. APSPDCL (Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited) provided skilled manpower of 120 Nos., M/s. TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company Limited) transferred 250 Nos. of 100kVA transformers & 40,000 single phase energy meters and M/s. PGCIL (Power Grid Corporation Of India Limited ) rendered assistance in Distribution Transformer restoration works and supplied 30 kilo Liters of transformer oil.
KSEB restored the power supply to all the occupied consumer premises, without realizing any amount from the consumer. In many consumer premises, which could not be normalized as such, KSEB team provided essential supply of one light point and power socket, by installing pre-wired kits. Moreover, it was ordered to exempt the areas of Electrical Sections identified as flood affected during the calamity from generation of bills from the next billing cycle and to extend the due date and disconnection date of bills already issued and generated for monthly/bi-monthly consumers in flood affected areas up to 31.01.2019 in deserving cases. Further to the above, it was ordered to waive the Reconnection Fee (RF) and surcharge for deserving consumers in flood affected areas wherever necessary and authorized the Assistant Engineers of flood affected sections and the Special Officer Revenue to give suitable installments for remittance of bills of LT consumers and bills of HT/EHT consumers respectively of flood affected areas in deserving cases.
Reconstruction of 5275.80 km distribution lines, more than one lakh poles, 1735 Distribution Transformers, replacement and revival of more than 3 lakh de-electrified houses, replacement of about 3.5 lakh faulty meter etc were required for resuming normalcy. Against all odds, KSEB could restore all disrupted Distribution Networks and effect almost all Service Connections by 31.08.2018; the remaining few, which were kept isolated on safety considerations, were also re-electrified immediately after the water receded.