Emergency During Natural Disasters
Restoring Power in remote villages of Odisha after cyclone Phailin
Phailin, the monster cyclone caused an unprecedented havoc in Odisha on 12 October, damaging almost everything that came in its path. Power supply is a critical lifeline of any region and Phailin's fury completely damaged the power supply network in the coastal southern Odisha.
The biggest challenge for the Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (SOUTHCO) was to restore the power supply in different substations and restore the distribution network. Against this backdrop Schneider Electric received a request from the Energy Secretary of the State to support the restoration work.
Schneider Electric put together a ten member Execution centre team that reached Berhampur with necessary equipment within 48 hours. Providing round the clock service, the team restored the power supply in four 33/11 KV substations, namely , Ganjam, Maluda and Lachapada, located in remote parts of Ganjam District. The team completed the restoration work within the stipulated time while maintaining the Schneider Electric safety and quality standards.
This dedicated approached of Schneider Electric was appreciated by the Managing Director of SOUTHCO and the Energy Secretary of Odisha Government.
Restoration of Power supply in Uttarakhand
Last month, in the wake of Uttarakhand floods, Schneider Electricreached out to Uttaranchal Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) to offer complete support in helping them restore power supply in the region. UPCL requested for our support in restoring power supply in three sub-stations severely affected by torrential rain and flood. Incessant rain and inclement weather without adequate power supply was creating havoc on the people of the region.
In a matter of hours a crack team was put together comprising 11 of our brave hearts who were entrusted with this critical project. Spearheaded by our engineers Nitin Kapoor and Parsenjit Banerjee, the team included engineers from our Vadodara office- Satyam Patel, Umang Alaiya and a core team of volunteers with varied skills including Bajrul Haq Mondal, Netrpal Singh, Govind, Raju, Ashok, Nalu and Suresh Kumar.
Between 19 June and 6 July, our team equipped with necessary testing tools and kits went about the job systematically restoring power in these three sub-stations that were buried in debris, silt and flood waters.
The exceptional support of Schneider team was appreciated by the UPCL and the people of the region.
Dr Shalini Sarin, Country Partner- VP HR & CSR applauded the volunteers for their efforts, "The scale of loss of life and property in Uttarakhand was unprecedented. The immediate task for the government and allied agencies was to rescue, relief and rehabilitation. Schneider India pitched in to bring back electric supply in remote regions rendered isolated from grid after the natural disaster. I am proud to be a part of an organisation and a team of people that cares, reaches out and contributes to society. I applaud the effort of our team that went out to this region with a missionary zeal to help. Kudos to them" .
The Internal Communications team requested Parsenjit Banerjee and Nitin Kapoor for their in-person account of the experience. Here are the excerpts:
We had seen coverage on TV channels but seeing it live made us shiver. The roads were completely shattered and bridges were broken.
At Thatyur, Chamba District, when we informed the local people that we were there to help them in restoration of power, they appreciated our effort and offered help. The road to the substation was completely shattered and we walked several kilometers to reach the Thatyur substation. It was an unbelievable experience as the substation switchyard was completely filled with mud and stone. The operator room was completely destroyed and the control room was filled with water. We took the help of locals to clear the transformer, switchyard and the control room. We could restore power at Thatyur substation in four days. It was a sad but an unbelievable experience for all of us. Across the projects we followed all safety measures while doing our work.
The eleven of us included engineers, a supervisor, electrician, fitter, welder, and testing engineers. We were equipped with the essential tools, test kits and tackles, mandatory PPE's, raincoats and so on. Getting the 33/11 KV station at Bhagwanpur at Roorkee back to normal was the first step for us. Their 10MVA Trafo and outdoor equipment was severely damaged. Between 21- 29 June, we completed Bhagwanpur and Bindal stations. On 30 June, we started the journey for Thatyur, Chamba District. During our journey, the roads and bridges were totally destroyed and there were no alternative roads available. In some area we walked for several kilometers as vehicle movement was not possible. When we finally reached the Thatyur station, we found the condition of the station to be dismal. The switchyard area, operator room was filled with silt and debris. The control room was filled with water. After continuous effort of team, we achieved the readiness target for the system.
In addition to the treacherous circumstances, it was challenging to work without any drawings and scheme details of the system. We managed to scale the challenges and deliver what we committed the UPCL. It was an immense achievement for all of us.
33/11KV Sub-Station- Bhagwanpur
33/11KV Sub-Station- Bindal
33/11KV Sub-Station -Thatyur
Joining Hands with Oxfam to Support Uttarakhand
Schneider Electric India Foundation (SEIF) is committed to helping people change their lives through access to energy. SEIF works in the areas of education, employment, entrepreneurship, electrification and support during natural disasters for the under privileged people at the base of the pyramid.
In keeping with the charter of providing assistance to communities during natural disaster, SEIF has partnered with Oxfam India. Oxfam is a world leader in disaster response, acknowledged for providing clean water and sanitation to save lives and prevent further losses by stopping the outbreak of deadly diseases. Schneider Electric India Foundation and Oxfam India signed the partnership agreement on 20 August, 2013 at Schneider Electric India office in Mumbai. Dr. Shalini Sarin- Country Partner- VP HR & CSR handed over a cheque of Rs.20 Lacs contributed by our employees and the SEIF to Nisha Agrawal, CEO of Oxfam India. This contribution is to support Oxfam's ongoing humanitarian work in Uttarakhand.
You can also Click here to know more about Oxfam India's work in Uttarakhand.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 94 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. Oxfam works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.
Oxfam partners to support humanitarian assistance and disaster risk reduction programmes to respond immediately when an emergency strikes and when lives are devastated. They respond to relieve human suffering in emergency situations created by war, drought, floods, earthquakes and famine.
Oxfam delivers vital assistance in the form of safe water, sanitation, food aid, and shelter to reduce the incidence of death and disease. Oxfam follows internationally recognized principles and standards for emergencies, including the Code Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.