Privatisation of electricity distribution coming soon

Vol 5, PW 2 (14 Mar 01) People & Policy

Credit to this gathering of chief ministers for releasing a set of proposals that fully reflect the magnitude of the crisis.

Bar the predictable Targets that will never be met (for example providing "full electricity coverage to all households by year 2012") a resolution released during the seminar gets to the heart of the issue: "The real problem of management and the challenge of reforms lies in the distribution sector." It then lists the following course of action that Delhi wants its states to undertake take. Energy audit at all 11 KV feeders must be made effective within the next 6 months and accountability fixed at the local level An effective Management Information System for this purpose needs to be made operational On the basis of the above, an effective programme needs to be launched for identifying and eliminating power theft in the next 2 years.

Full metering of all consumers had been targeted for completion by December 2001. Special efforts should be made to complete the programme.

The quality of power supplied especially in rural areas needs to be improved through the APDP and other programmes quickly Commercial viability has to be achieved in distribution in 2-3 years through any or all of the following: Creating Profit centres with full accountability Handing over of local distribution to local bodies wherever necessary Privatisation of distribution It adds: "Efforts at inviting private investment in the power sector need to be focussed towards the distribution sector. Current operations on distribution would need to reach break even in two years and achieve positive returns thereafter."

LNG Summit