As distribution of power vests with the states, the ways to imbibe accountability and transparency in the working of state distribution companies (or DISCOMs) also rests with the respective state governments.
While we still await a transparent system from states listing exact details on power purchase and its distribution to end consumers, the Central government (union power ministry) has already launched half a dozen mobile applications and e-platforms that give every citizen of this country besides other stakeholders a complete and transparent account of what is happening across the power generation and transmission space.
It is important to mention here that power being a concurrent subject—while generation and transmission of power is the responsibility of the Central government, the distribution of power and further giving electricity connections to people of this country is the responsibility of the state governments.
On its part, the ministry of power under minister Piyush Goyal has launched some significant mobile applications like Vidyut Pravah, Ujala, GARV, URJA (all being free mobile applications).
The latest digital offerings from the power ministry includes the TARANG’ mobile application along with two e-platforms: ‘e-Trans’ & ‘DEEP’ e-bidding web portals.
While the Vidyut Pravah mobile application is an excellent attempt to track availability and cost of power across India, TARANG is the latest mobile application that has caught the industry’s eye.
“TARANG” tracks the real time progress of transmission projects and associated works being carried out in transmission systems across the country.
Developed by RECTPCL, a subsidiary of Rural Electrification Corporation under the Ministry of Power, ‘TARANG’ (or the Transmission App for Real Time Monitoring & Growth) Mobile App & Web Portal is a powerful monitoring tool that tracks upcoming transmission projects and monitor the progress of Inter-State & Intra-State transmission systems in the country, being developed through Regulated tariff mechanism as well as Tariff Based Competitive Bidding(TBCB) route.
While facilitating effective monitoring of progress of under-construction transmission systems in the country, the TARANG app also gives details on the status of stalled/delayed transmission systems in country which would enable the stakeholders viz. Ministry of Power, State Governments, all private sector transmission developers and PSUs like Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd., for expeditious completion of such projects.
Even the Green Energy Corridors, an important component of India’s renewable energy mission, would also be monitored through TARANG.
A new web platform : e-Trans’ has been launched for e-bidding and e-reverse auction for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) in transmission projects. As a result, companies bidding for power transmission projects will no longer be required to submit manual bids.
With e-Trans, the interface will be electronic and on the lines of coal sector, reverse auction will allow bidders to revise their bids during live bidding process for transmission sector projects.
Companies that will bid the lowest levelised tariffs for power transmission will bag the projects. A better price discovery shall ultimately benefit the power consumers in India.
While ensuring transparency and accountability, the step is being seen as a big boost for enhancing investors confidence in undertaking power transmission projects.
All these three e-platforms including “TARANG’ , the Mobile App, ‘e-Trans’ & ‘DEEP’ e-bidding web portals, that have been developed by Rural Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL), a subsidiary of REC Ltd and were launched by the Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines (Independent Charge), Piyush Goyal on August 17.
Introduction of the electronic platform shall enhance ease, accountability & transparency and would boost confidence of investors in power transmission sector.
‘DEEP (or Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) e-Bidding’ portal for medium term (1-5 years) purchase of power provides a common e-bidding platform with e-reverse auction facility to facilitate nation-wide power procurement through a wider network so as to bring uniformity and transparency in the process of power procurement.
By the introduction of e-Bidding and e-reverse auction process for medium term (1-5 years), the time span of the complete bidding process and the cost of procurement of power is expected to be reduced substantially, thereby significantly benefiting the ultimate consumers.