Work on the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme, envisaged for providing better services to consumers and enhancing the power utilities in the State, is expected to go on stream by July-end.

Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) chairman Rajiv Sadanandan told reporters here on Saturday that an agreement with the Korea Electric Power Data Company selected for implementing the programme within a span of 18 months, would be signed by mid-July after the company submitted a technical implementation plan to the board. Work on the programme will commence by next month-end.

The initial part of the scheme is for implementing information technology in the distribution sector of power utilities and the thrust of the second part is on reducing aggregate technical and commercial loss to the minimum level of 15 per cent. On completing the programme within the specific time, the entire loan allotted for the initial component and 50 per cent of the loan for the second part will be converted into grant.

Other than reducing the aggregated technical and commercial loss to the minimum level, e-payment of electricity bills, online registration and status evaluation of complaints, submission of applications for new service connection and tariff change, accelerated fault recovery and complaint rectification using GIS-based consumer indexing and asset mapping are some of the highlights of the new system proposed to be implemented.

The second part will be implemented in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode with a population of 4 lakh and annual input energy greater than 300 MU. The complete distribution network of each town can be managed remotely from a central control room.

The initial part of the programme covers only less than one-third of the KSEB consumers. The estimated cost for extending it to other areas has been pegged at Rs.33.24 crore. This will be borne by the board. The total cost for implementing the project in the programme areas and others has been estimated at Rs.241.95 crore.

On completing the projects, metering, billing and collection of low tension and high tension consumers, supply chain management system and energy auditing, among others, will be fully automated. The company has been selected for implementing the first part of the programme at a cost of Rs.239.97 crore, he said.