Rs.1,500 crore earmarked for power reform programme

As many as 144 towns in the State will soon have modern power distribution systems and IT-enabled services to be introduced by the Ministry of Power under a reform programme, Minister of State for Power K.C. Venugopal has said.

Talking to The Hindu here on Sunday, he said the Ministry had cleared the ground to bring an additional 100 towns in Kerala into the Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (APDRP). This, he explained, was the result of the revised criterion, under which towns with a population of 15,000 and above would become eligible to benefit from the programme. The State already has 44 towns in the network.

Mr. Venugopal said the Ministry had earmarked Rs.1,500 crore for the programme, which includes underground cabling, replacement of transformers, computerisation of the distribution system and introduction of IT-enabled services. He said the Ministry would provide 50 per cent of the reform cost as grant to towns achieving a reduction of 15 per cent in transmission and distribution loss.

The Minister said the country was set to save about 10,000 MW of power by the end of the 11{+t}{+h} five-year Plan through various schemes and programmes initiated by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. This, he said, translated into a saving of Rs.20,000 crore. The target for the next plan is 12,000 MW, he said.

Mr. Venugopal said the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) mechanism, a flagship scheme of the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency, was expected to be notified soon. “The necessary amendments to the Energy Conservation Act have been adopted by Parliament and approved by the President. The notification would make it mandatory for large industries to reduce energy consumption by a certain level”.