The management of the Delhi Milk Scheme recently undertook an exercise to bring down its energy consumption and expenditure, only to realise that it is being made to pay an electricity tax, which as a government milk producer is illegal.
To stem this loss, the DMS has now taken on the power discom BSES, demanding not only exemption from being asked to pay an electricity tax, but has also sought a refund for the excess amounts charged under the tax head over the last eight years “illegally”.
DMS General Manager B. S. Beniwal said it was after an eight-year struggle with the discom that the organisation last year succeeded in getting its electricity tax of 5 per cent waived off.
“This tax should have never been levied on us as DMS is part of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries under the Union Ministry of Agriculture. For the last eight years we had been urging BSES to not levy this tax on us; last year we threatened to stop payments of the bills altogether. First they threatened to cut our supply and then they relented and waived our electricity tax and also refunded the same for one year. We are now pressing for the refunds of the previous years. With our monthly electricity bill being around Rs.35 lakh, we would be saving about Rs.20 lakh per annum on this count,” said Prof. Beniwal.
From electricity consumption and billing rationalisation alone, the DMS has been able to save a huge amount. With electricity being a major input in milk processing, the management streamlined its procurement and use. “We were not using as much electricity as we had contracted for and were unnecessarily paying because of that. So we cut down on our contracted demand,” said Prof. Beniwal.
Explaining the mechanism, he said the reduction in unutilised contract demand of electricity from 3,200 KVA to 2,050 KVA led to saving of Rs.150 per KVA in fixed charges per month. On an annual basis, this led to saving of nearly Rs.21 lakh.
In the functioning of the plant too, the DMS introduced small but critical changes to make it more energy efficient. As DGM Technical Ashok Bansal said, “in the refrigeration units, we replaced the reciprocating ammonia compressors with high speed screw compressors and this brought our power consumption down by 25 per cent. With 70 per cent of all power being used in refrigeration, this is leading to saving of over Rs.50 lakh per annum.”
Mr. Bansal said the DMS plant, despite being a semi-automatic one as against the automatic facilities which Mother Dairy possesses, has been maintaining a very high power factor of nearly .99 which bears testimony to how well maintained and efficient the machinery and plant are. Due to this high power factor, he said, DMS also earned a rebate on its power bill.