Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday said privatisation of the power sector has brought about a turn around for the better and an end to the “era of long outages”.
Speaking at a national seminar on “Power sector reforms: Retrospect, realities and prospects”, Ms. Dikshit said the services of the discoms have vastly improved and the situation in general is better than the pre-privatisation era.
Ms. Dikshit said the discoms were now competing with each other to provide the best possible services to their respective customers. The State Government, she said, has been able to bring a positive change in the mindset of the consumers and the distribution companies after privatisation of the sector.
Describing the unbundling of the sector as “successful”, the Chief Minister said Delhi was one of the few Indian States where power sector reforms have been carried out with a resounding success. Lowering of aggregate technical and commercial losses from 50 per cent to 18 per cent and control over theft of power were other examples of the reforms in the sector, she added.
Ms. Dikshit listed services like the SCADA system and on-line payment facility as the steps taken by the discoms to improve the functioning of the sector. She also made a reference to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Public Grievance Committee as organisations that “vouchsafe interests of the customers”.
The Capital had faced severe power shortage during summer this past year and the Chief Minister had reprimanded the discoms, particularly the BSES for not purchasing enough power to meet the city’s demands. However, on Saturday she attributed power cuts post-privatisation largely to “local faults” and said the system was being upgraded to overcome this situation. She expressed confidence that Delhi will have “a comfortable summer ahead”.
Ms. Dikshit made reference to the steps being taken to generate power by the city for its own use and said there would be surplus power during the Commonwealth Games and thereafter. The discoms, she said, have been told to purchase power at whatever rates available to avoid power shortage in Delhi.
Delhi is expecting more than 1,400 MW from the Bawana project this year, around 750 MW from Jhajjar and 900 MW from NTPC Dadri.