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Haryana to Launch “Feeder Franchise” Scheme to Cut Power Losses

Haryana Power Distribution utilities have decided to launch scheme by handing over power distribution feeders to franchises to cut down distribution losses which are now in the range of 30 to 35%.

Utilities Chairman and Managing Director Devender Singh told reporters here today that power distribution feeders which are high on losses or up to 50% would be handed over to franchises. Singh said the scheme would be launched as a pilot project by January by completing the formalities by then as the feeders would be given to the franchises after open bidding system.

The details of the scheme are expected to be announced by next week, adding two feeders in each of the 40 distribution circles would be handed over to the franchises. Singh said that earlier it was proposed to hand over an entire town to the franchises but now it has been decided to hand over only two distribution feeders in each circle. After seeing the response and the success, the scheme will be expanded, he added.

Singh claimed that Delhi Tata Power had brought down the distribution losses to about 15% in some of the slum areas where feeders with up to 70% losses were handed to the franchises. Singh said a survey of “connected load” would also be undertaken in the state soon as during surprise checks the connected load of consumers was found to be much less as compared with the appliances being used.

The load remains the same in the case of many consumers who have failed to get the load increased in line with changing times when people have started using a number of electrical gadgets, including air conditioners, microwave ovens, etc, he said.He said the increase in connected load would result in increased minimum charges for consumers, which would also help the power distribution companies in cutting their losses.

Singh said the two power distribution companies in Haryana – Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam – were suffering a loss of about Rs two per unit which could not be absorbed for long. Various illegalities, including power theft, had to be checked for increasing the revenue in case uninterrupted power supply was to be ensured, he added.

Singh said abnormally high distribution losses were detected in an industrial unit in Panipat and on inquiries the unit claimed the production was closed for about 20 days.He said that on cross checking with the Excise and Taxation Department, it was found that the production at the unit was normal as there was no decline in payment of taxes. On further scrutiny, power pilferage was detected at the unit, he said adding fines as per rules had been imposed on the unit.

Singh said defaulters in commercial sector were yet to clear dues amounting to around Rs 3,900 crore while urban and industrial consumers owed about Rs 1,000 crore.The officials have been asked to cut power to defaulters and also ensure that they do not draw power by taking connection in some other name or through some other illegal route, he said.

He said distribution losses ranged between 50 to 70% in five districts of Bhiwani, Hissar, Jind, Kaithal and Rohtak and the staff there had been directed to undertake special drives to reduce the losses.

Singh said since the power distribution companies could not bear the losses by selling power at less than the production cost, consumers would have to pay the actual cost.He said consumers are also ready to pay in case they are assured quality power.

“No manufacturer sells its products below the cost price. So, why should power be sold at less than the cost price,” he said adding though the companies were working at reducing the losses and bringing them to around 15% so that consumers were not burdened much.

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