THE CASH-STRAPPED Chandigarh electricity department has incurred heavy transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of Rs 25.08 crore in the past four years. This exceeds norms fixed by Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).
Some energy is lost in network while carrying it from from generation source to the consumer and as per the directions of the commission, T&D losses – difference between energy purchased by the department and energy billed — cannot be more than 13.75 per cent.
For efficient functioning of the system, it must be ensured that there are minimum losses in sub-transmission and distribution of power. The department suffered T&D losses of Rs 16.80 crore in 2012, which came down to Rs 68 lakh in the subsequent year. In 2014, the department faced losses of Rs 1.46 crore and Rs 6.14 crore in 2015.
The electricity department does not have its own power generation source and buys its power through its allocation from central generating stations (CGS): the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd (THDC).
The losses at 66 to 33 kilovolt (KV) stage are termed as sub-transmission losses while those at 11KV and below are termed as distribution losses.
The losses occur mainly on two counts — technical and commercial. Technical losses (T&D) occur due to inherent character of equipment used for transmitting and distributing power. A large number of transformers installed at various sub-stations have completed their life span of 25 years. According to department, these transformers are not only overloaded but also have become obsolete.
Commercial losses occur due to theft of energy, defective meters and drawal of unmetered supply. As per the official records, the department has to replace around 12,000 meters- both mechanical and non-working electronic.
The department caters to 2.12 lakh consumers, of whom 1.75 lakh are in the domestic category. Of the total, there is regular billing of around 94 per cent of consumers.
UT superintending engineer MP Singh said that the department is making efforts to cut down on the T&D losses. “We have managed to bring down the losses to around 14%, of which around 3% accounts for the intra-state transmission losses. Intra-state transmission losses are beyond our control,” said MP Singh.