Assures rural areas will receive at least six hours of three-phase supply

Claiming that there was no problem with power supply in the district, Mangalore Electric Supply Company (Mescom) Managing Director S. Sumanth said the current supply to the company was sufficient to meet the demands in the coming months.

During the “meet the press” in Mangalore on Tuesday, Mr. Sumanth said: “Barring minor problems with UPCL (Udupi Power Corporation Limited) supply, Mescom can definitely take care of the load here.”

Rural areas would be assured 18 hours of power, with at least six hours of three-phased power needed to run irrigation pump (IP) sets. However, he appealed to farmers not to run pumps from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the examination season.

About the problems faced by farmers due to erratic three-phased power supply, Mr. Sumanth said there was a problem only in Sullia taluk, and power was “more or less” given to farmers as assured.

For the coming year, he said Mescom would concentrate on creating infrastructure to support nearly 21,693 unauthorised irrigation pumpsets coming under their limits. “An amount of Rs. 75 crore will be spent to regularise them over the next two years. This way, the connections are authorised and our losses are reduced,” he said.

Not short of praise for the electricity company, Mr. Sumanth said at 12.07 per cent, Mescom had “one of the lowest distribution losses in the country”. Mangalore city, Bantwal, and other towns had losses of less than 7 per cent, he added.

Apart from technical improvements, the low number of thefts and unauthorised connections contributed to the reduced losses. Mescom officials said 300 persons had been booked last year, a number that was low compared with other cities.

A major project undertaken by the company, which would lower distribution loss, was the High Voltage Distribution System, where electricity would be transmitted at high voltages – which ensured lower losses – and converted to lower voltages by transformers positioned close to the users, said Mr. Sumanth. The project would be undertaken in a phased manner.

New sub-stations coming up at Bejai and Jeppu – which might begin in a few more months — would augment the existing seven 33/11 KV sub-stations in the city, he said. “When all our projects are implemented, in five to six years, I do not see any load problems in the city,” said Mr. Sumanth.

For internal purposes, the company will introduce the Management Information Systems for handling their finances, and installation of Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) at selected stores and offices to ensure transparency.

Mescom has started distributing contact cards to customers that will contain service station and engineers’ numbers to be contacted in case of complaints.

Post office as a payment portal

Hoping to utilise the high connectivity of the Postal Department in rural places, Mescom MD S. Sumanth said the company was in negotiations with India Post for the payment of electricity bills under Rs. 1,000 in value. Officials at the programme said defaulting on payment was not a concern in the district. However, there had been a poor response to the Electronic Clearance Service (ECS) system, which had seen only 1,500 enrolments so far.

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