Sheila's power claim questioned by experts

Don't take discoms' claims at face vale, transparency is needed

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | November 7, 2012



A full-page advertisement in national dailies, placed by the Delhi government, claiming cent percent power to citizens has raised many eyebrows.

The Sheila Dikshit government claims that discoms (distribution companies) have met the peak demand of 5,645 MW this year and there was no load shedding in the capital on account of deficiency of power supply.

It also says that there has been less than 0.3% of load shedding and aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses have been reduced to 15% from 53% prior to privatization. Also, transmission and distribution (T&D) losses have been significantly reduced due to better monitoring system and improved T&D structure. The government also claims to save Rs 15,000 crore of public exchequer solely on account of annual support to Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB, the previous, government-run entity).

The per capita consumption of the consumers in Delhi is more than 1,450 units as against the national average of 775 units, it says.

But power experts say there is no authenticity behind the claim.

Sanjay Kaul of People’s Action, the group which has been urging the government to build pressure on the discoms to withdraw their petition from court demanding exemption from RTI Act, says figures mentioned in the advertisement are provided by the discoms and it cannot be taken at face value. “When we cannot audit discoms, we can do anything but accept what is being told by them. There is no way we can check these figures. They are not ready to come under the RTI Act. A case is in court demanding CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) audit of discoms. So there is no transparency, it’s a completely opaque business,” he added.

In October, over 100 resident welfare associations (RWA) had petitioned prime minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a scrutiny of accounts of private power distribution companies by the CAG.

Arun Dutta , a power expert, says that there is no doubt about the sufficient supply of power in the city. He adds, “In fact, we have more than required, at times. Delhi’s requirement is 2,400 crore units and we have a supply of 4,000 crore units, especially during winters. The problem is that surplus power is sold at Rs 2 less than the purchased price, and we lose Rs 4,000 crore on this.”

Dutta says that the discoms must be covered under the RTI to make the method of cost and pricing transparent. “It is a complicated method of calculation and it is completely manipulated. But if we do not stop it here, in future power might be sold at Rs 10 per unit,” he adds. Dutta also says that the loss reduction to 15%, as claimed, was mandatory and the companies were given huge incentives for this. “The assets of Rs 9,000 crore has been built up – by changing the transformers, the lines, to reduce the theft. And still they have managed to reduce it to 16-17% and not 15% as was required. So they should be punished instead,” he added.

Technical and power expert Ravinder Singh says that energy input in Delhi may have gone up by 18 percent, as claimed by the government but the peak demand has been doubled. “The demand from the non-domestic users like malls and multi-storey apartments has increased in the last few years. But the government is recovering the money from the domestic consumers.”

Comments

 

Other News

Title Insurance: new product for old issues

Real estate is among the priciest investments around. More so for the common man who has to live with the burden of monthly EMIs. Yet, it is an art to discover the real owner of any property. Government and revenue records, which are easily accessible to the public, are not properly maintained. Individual

Aadhaar linkage with electoral roll on cards

The election commission of India (ECI) has been working on a series of electoral reforms, and the agenda includes linking Aadhaar with the electoral roll, considering paid news and false affidavit as electoral offence/corrupt practice, better monitoring the role of print media and social media intermediari

Save Panje wetland, give it Ramsar status: environmentalists

To protect the fast depleting wetlands against being used as landfill and for development activities in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR), environmentalists have asked the centre to declare the 289-hectare Panje wetlands in Uran tehsil of Raigarh district as a ‘Ramsar site’ and preserve its ecol

All you wanted to know about Mumbai’s coastal road

Mumbai is building a coastal road to cut through traffic snarls and make life easier for commuters. The ambitious project, part of the city’s Development Plan (DP) 2035, is the second major initiative after the Bandra-Worli sea link, and should become a reality in 2023. Here are the key facts

Delhi elections: accounting for intangibles away from banal nationalism and hyper nationalism

The party that came into existence on the intangible timeworn issue of corruption, transparency and increasing public investment through public savings is going on winning elections in Delhi with huge margins, consistently rowing the boat between doldrums and high tides. Somewhere between the doldr

How Divyang-friendly and inclusive is Mumbai? Experts discuss

Mumbai, the second largest city in the country, is not very inclusive when it comes to the easy access to the disabled, but it is learning and is in the process of making the life of Divyangs easier. Also, it aims to rehabilitate all slums in five years. Stakeholders came together to discuss



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter