Information Technology holds the key to transform some of India’s worse performing DISCOMs into the best performing power distribution companies of India. With the turnaround of DISCOMs, the benefits of this will ultimately benefit the consumer or the people of India.
The results of an impact assessment study, carried out by the state-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC) on behalf of the ministry of power, released recently show some phenomenal benefits for power distribution companies in general and for consumers in particular.
High AT&C losses, which has time and again been cited as the main reason for the depleting health of DISCOMs, have shown a considerable reduction with IT anabled power distribution systems. “The IT enabled systems have helped in identification of loss pockets and have helped utilities in taking corrective measures,” said a senior PFC official after submitting the finding of the IT impact assessment study report to the power ministry.
Out of the 1409 towns where IT enabled schemes are underway, PFC carried out an Impact assessment study in 76 towns across 14 states.
Based on the result of this study, it has been observed that 65 out of 76 towns have shown improvement in the AT&C losses as compared to their baseline AT&C losses. These improvements range from 1% to 54% (17 towns: less than 5%; 26 towns: 5-15%; 15 towns: 15-25% and 7 towns: more than 25%).
This reduction in losses corresponds to annual monetary benefits of around Rs 185 crores annually in 76 towns. If we extrapolate that to 1,226 towns which have gone live online, then it comes to around Rs 5,000 crore every year. Once all 4,041 urban towns will be linked online, the savings would be to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore annually, the official added.
Moving in this direction, the Power Ministry is likely to award the works to have IT-driven power distribution in as many as 2,636 towns across the country by the end of December this year. The savings on this account, once the work is completed in these towns, could be in the range of Rs 10,000 crore annually.
“The detailed project report for making IT enabled power distribution system in 2,636 urban towns will be ready in two months. Power Ministry will be able to award the work by December this year. It will take two years to complete the task thereafter,” a senior official told news agency PTI.
“This requires an investment of about Rs 1 crore in each town because the Centre with state governments have already created other required infrastructure like data and customer centres under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP).”
R-APDRP had covered 1,405 urban towns in the country but out of these 1,226 were made to have IT enabled power distribution system. IT enabled power distribution systems helps discoms reducing aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. This aids them to monitor the feeders online.
Besides IT driven power distribution system provides consumers a host of services like online bill payment, applying for new connection and knowing status of power supply situation in these towns in real time basis.
As part of the project, as many as 48 engineers designated as Urban Vidyut Abhiyantas (UVAs) were roped in July this year to assist the discoms, facilitating better consumer connect and monitoring of Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS).