Industrialists planning to set up units in Bihta have a reason to smile as an add-on grid would be set up to meet the power requirements of western Patna.
The Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd has decided to construct a new 220/132 KV grid sub-station apart from an existing 132/33KV grid, considering the growth of western Patna and Bihta as an industrial hub.
"The tender for the project, in all likelihood, would be floated in the next one month," a senior officer of the power company told The Telegraph. The grid would be constructed on a turnkey basis, the officer said, adding that the land has been earmarked for the project in Bihta.
The Bihar State Power Transmission Company Ltd would complete the project within two years at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore, sources said.
The grid sub-station would reduce the load on the Khagaul and the Digha grid sub-stations which, at present, supply power to western Patna.
"The pace of industrialisation has gained momentum in Bihta and its industrial area in the past few years. Several firms have come up in Bihta and many more, including Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Employees State Insurance Corporation hospital, are lined up. Bihta gets 50MW to 80MW power at present," a source said.
Once academic institutes, hospitals and industrial firms come up, the demand for power would increase tremendously, the officer said, refusing to quantify the demand.
Asked how the new grid would help citizens, an officer said: "At present, the 220/132 KV Khagaul grid sub-station (which supplies 240MW) feeds both 132/33KV grid sub-stations at Bihta and Digha. Once the new grid of 220/132KV capacity comes up at Bihta, the pressure from the Khagaul grid would be taken off and, in turn, the Khagaul grid would supply power only to western Patna. The Bihta grid would give cushioning to the power company in emergencies."
People of the capital have welcomed the power company's decision of setting up the new grid at Bihta. "It is a good thing that the government is thinking in advance keeping in mind the future growth. The Nitish government, which has been paying so much attention to the power sector, should have taken such steps in his first tenure. However, it is better late than never," Upendra Upadhyaya, a resident of Ram Nagri Colony, said.
Industrialists, too, hailed the decision of building a new grid. "It would help in the development of Bihta as well as industries in the township," said Sanjiv Choudhary, the chairman-cum-managing director of a steel company and the chairman of power sub-committee of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries.