Union Minister of State for Power and Commerce Jairam Ramesh today trained his guns on Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Energy for failing to bring down commercial and technical losses while distributing power in Orissa. Reliance Energy owns Nesco,Southco and Wesco,three of the four private power distribution companies operating in Orissa after the state became the pioneer in power reforms.
Even though we have privatised distribution of power in Orissa the losses are unacceptably high. Judged by the losses,power-sector privatisation in Orissa has been a failure and we have to now really send strong signals to private companies that you must reduce your losses, Ramesh said here today.
The union minister said aggregate technical and commercial loss of Cesu is 47 per cent,Nesco 33 per cent,Southco 42 per cent and Wesco 37 per cent whie the all India average in T&D loss is 34 per cent. In neghbouring Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Limited which covers 5 districts,has managed to bring down the losses to 12 per cent, he said.
Orissa was the first state to privatise power distribution as it handed over the distribution business in April 1996. But 12 years after privatisation,transmission and distribution losses are almost 40 per cent,higher than all India average of 34 per cent.
I find it shocking that the private companies in Orissa have been allowed to get away with such thing. The private companies here must perform better and the state government which owns 49 per cent in these companies should also put pressure. Central government will support whatever step the state government takes. Our objective in India is to reduce losses to 15 per cent by the year 2012, Ramesh said.
The union minister also panned the Orissa government for its tardy progress in electrification.