Power Minister asks states to cut electricity losses to less than 10% in 6 months
The Union Power Ministry asked 4,041 towns, spread across various states, to cut electricity losses due to theft and technical reasons to below 10 percent in six months, reported the Economic Times.
The states under review include Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, among others.
Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, along with power secretaries of states set the target in a review, planning and monitoring meeting on July 22.
For states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, it seems like a difficult target to achieve. Some of the towns in these states account for up to 90 percent electricity loss. For instance, Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh accounts for 93.8 percent power loss.
However, for cities such as Navi Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, it will be easier to achieve the target as they have accounted for up to 10 percent power due to theft and technical reasons.
Theft in electricity is when the wires are cut without the knowledge of authorities and power is used illegally for small/large events, personal use, etc. Technical glitches happen when power is transferred to the receiver, but the receiver is unable to get it.
The participating states are proposed to be given additional funding through Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, IPDS, Power Sector Development Fund and other such schemes.
The state-owned discoms can make up for physical and commercial losses by raising billing-collection efficiency and curbing power thefts, but to curb technical losses, huge investments would be needed for technology upgradation, a senior government official told the Economic Times.
He pointed that the Centre is supporting the technological development via the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS). This will help in strengthening the sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas, metering of distribution transformers, feeders, consumers in the urban areas and IT enablement of distribution sector.
The power ministry said that the national aggregate technical and commercial losses in states reduced to 20% in 2016-17 from 21% in FY16.