Linked here is a ppt presentation on the transformation of the Delhi power supply scenario, at least in those parts coming under Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), over the 8 years since the taking over from the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB). The information was obtained from TPDDL themselves. Some interesting highlights are:
- AT&C (aggregate technical & commercial) losses dropped by 75%, from 53.1% to 13.2%.
- Average retail tariff rose by 40%, from Rs 3.84 pu to Rs 5.38 pu, of which a 22% increase was allowed by the regulator just this September. This should be seen together with the increase in average power purchase price over the period, which was at 179.6% (from Rs 1.52 pu to Rs 4.52 pu). So, while the sale to purchase price ratio during the DVB reign was a whopping 2.53, it reduced dramatically to 1.19 at the end of the 8 years since the TATA take over.
- No of consumers went up by 69.1% (from 700,000 to 1184,000).
- Distribution Transformation Capacity in MVA went up by 116% (from 1926 to 4160)
- System reliability went up by 42.7% (from 70% to 99.9%) - meaning, I expect, the sales of gensets, inverters, UPS devices, batteries, converters, emergency lamps, voltage stabilisers, candles, match-sticks, etc must be dropping drastically.
Can there be a more compelling reason than all of the above for privatisation of distribution, particularly in cities, even with or without a most pro-active and go-getter MD like Mr Manivannan at the helm? After all, how much can he alone achieve given all of these constraints?
Well, the process has evolved over the years, from when the detractors - largely status quoists (some - on account ideological reasonings, plainly misplaced; others - out of vested interests), saw it all as doomed for failure - check this, and this. They will of course now point out to the reduction in the number of employees by 28.9% (from 5600 to 3981). However, that's only in the case of direct employment. As compared to that, the buoyancy that the economy attains, resulting from the ready availability of cost efficient power, is obviously leading to multi-fold employment generation in every other industry, power being a key infrastructural component affecting all of them.
The route for cities thus becoming clear, the route for rural areas can be any of the many models already available - a good one would have been the Hukeri (Belgaum dt, Karnataka) model, if not for the deliberate sabotage of it being carried out by the neta-babu combo in order to perpetuate their rule. Whatever, the route can't be the one adopted by BESCOM (and the other DISCOMs in Karnataka), supposedly to cross-subsidise the losses suffered in the rural networks, but essentially to cover up their inefficiencies (as also plain thefts), all in the name of farmers.
City loads and rural loads have totally different characteristics, and unless these are separated and managed, neither can be met satisfactorily. But, the important question that arises is do you want to meet the needs satisfactorily, or do you want to perpetuate your vested interests?
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