As Haryana power utilities continues to grapple with high transmission and distribution losses besides high debt, newly appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and Chairman Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Shatrujeet Singh Kapur said that his main priority would be reducing the losses and increasing efficiency in the department.
Kapur will be taking over the charge of the department on Monday. The state government has for the first time appointed an IPS officer to this post. The move is being seen as a step by the government to take measures to curb the losses as well as check power theft. Earlier, Kapur was posted as Additional Director General, Crime.
For the financial year 2015-16, the distribution losses of the power utilities were 29.75 per cent. For the next financial year, the losses were projected to be 22.67 per cent. The intra-state transmission losses were 2.48 per cent while the inter-state transmission losses were 3.82 per cent. The most instances of power theft have been reported in Jind followed by Bhiwani.
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Staring at an outstanding debt of around Rs 34,600 crore, the state government has taken over 75 per cent of it under Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna. Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission has even time and again given directions to the power utilities to curb these losses.
Talking to The Indian Express, Kapur said that his first priority will be improving the availability of power. He vowed to provide uninterrupted power supply to the citizens stating that as customers they should be getting good quality power supply.
“There are three major sectors – residential, industrial and agricultural. In all three, the quality of supply needs to be improved. In addition, we need to bring down the T&D losses. An effort will be made at reducing cost of procurement/production. Bringing in transparency and induction of IT to improve the profitability will also be a priority,” he said.
The past one year has witnessed protests by the residents over a hike in power tariff that forced the government to partially roll back the tariff. The outstanding power bills of consumers stand at Rs 6,623 crore as of May 2016.
The outgoing Managing Director, UHBVN and Director Power Reforms Nitin Yadav said that in the past seven to eight months, several steps were put in place to bring efficiency in the system. He said that T&D losses in the urban areas were reduced by eight percent. Schemes like Mhara Gaon Jagmag Gaon were also launched.
“Loss in distribution is an administrative and political challenge. It is not too much of a technical challenge. In industrial sector, losses are only 3 or 4 per cent. In some interior places there are 80 per cent losses. You need political and administrative strength,” he said.