Are the ongoing power shortages in states for real? Don’t be surprised if you find the answer to this as a “NO”.
Thanks to the recent launch of the mobile application “Vidyut PRAVAH”, consumers can now keep a real time check on the actual availability and supply of power to their homes in respective states across the country.
So next time, if you ever face long power outages, you can immediately check on your mobile phones through the Vidyut Pravah App if these power cuts are for real or is it your state-distribution companies that are resisting to purchase power that is already available to them so as to mitigate these shortages.
While on one hand, this App of the ministry of power provides all consumers with a real time check on power availability, its prices and shortages across all states in India, this also makes all stakeholders including state-owned distribution companies (DISCOMs), power producers as also Distribution Companies more accountable for ensuring supply of 24×7 power.
Minister of state for power, coal and RE, Piyush Goyal, in a recent interview to EnergyInfraPost said, “The Vidyut Pravah App will take transparency to the next level and make state governments as also power producers more accountable.”
In a clear Signal to the consumers, this App brings out the Demand Met and surplus/shortage scenario of each state, along-with the price observed at Exchange on the current day and comparison with the previous day.
Consumers can cross check whether information provided by utilities regarding shortages and ground realities. This creates pressure from the consumers on the utilities.
While helping the consumers, this App also gives market information regarding availability of power to the Distribution Utilities. It gives utilities a signal to address intra-state transmission & distribution constraints. For the Transmission Utilities, this app creates awareness regarding larger price differences in one area compared to other areas, occurring due to outage of inter-regional transmission lines. It also exerts pressure on the Transmission Licensees for early restoration.
That’s not all. All stakeholders including power producers are accountable for bringing more power in the market in case of shortages.
For instance, let’s take an example for the better understanding and functioning of how this App works for an Consumer.
We at EnergyInfraPost visited the Vidyut Pravah App and clicked on the state– Uttar Pradesh on the Geographical map of India provided on this App.
At 1130 hrs on May 9, Uttar Pradesh showed that a peak shortage of 1215 mega watt. However, despite these shortages, the App also showed that the state has not bought anything from the power market — that showed an availability of close to 2000 mw power at Rs 2.8 a unit in the state.
So if a consumer is facing say a 12 hour power in some corner of the state, he can now question the state and ask as to why this power that is available in the power market (as was visible through this App), why is the state not buying it for further supply to consumers and areas facing power outages.
Another interesting aspect noticed was that the energy shortages being reported by the state on this app was just 2.8 percentage which means that on an average the power outages in the state should not be more than 30 minutes. If that be the case, and a consumer is facing a power cut of 12 hours in a particular area of the state, he can question the state authorities and force them to buy the available power and supply it to them.
Now the question is that who does the consumer address his grievances to?
To this, the MoP said that it is working out an mechanism where all these such grievances received will be forwarded to respective states and to the concerned authorities for appropriate action.
Currently, Writing a Book for Penguin India Titled Greased Pole:How Politics and Lobbying Stifled India’s Energy Dreams. The author can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org (9810661825)
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