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Power sector upset over failed privatization of distcos

Statesman News Service | Bhadrak |

The Executive Committee of All Odisha Power Engineers Federation representing the power engineers working in Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha(CESU), SOUTHCO, North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Limited (NESCO), Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha(WESCO), Odisha Hydro Power Corporation( OHPC).

Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited (OPGC), Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL)and Grid Corporation of Odisha(GRIDCO) met here and expressed grave concern over the failed privatisation of distribution companies and renewal of the franchise model which has led to loss of over Rs 5000 crore.

Despite strong objection from the federation raised with all concerned like the government and the regulatory, the process of privatisation and franchise is still continuing, they decried. The total accumulated losses of the pre reform era was Rs 300 crores, which has now touched around Rs 6500 crores, said the Federation. During the 15 years of privatization regime,there has been practically no investment.

All infrastructure development work has been done either by bank loan or by government funding. The accumulated losses during private regime has been around Rs 5000 crores as against the equity investment of around Rs 250 crores. This accumulated losses are now the burden of the distribution companies and indirectly on consumers after the private companies deserted the distribution sector.

Similarly the Franchisees have not been able to achieve any of the performance parameters like reduction of AT&C Losses to 15%, 100% metering of consumers , smart metering , Replacement of LT poles @ 3% per annum, AB cabling in 20% of LT lines, implementation of Automatic meter reading system etc. On the other hand, required number of engineers and technicians are not being appointed which is seriously affecting consumer service.

Pay increase as per 7th pay commission recommendation, higher pay to Power Engineers because of special nature of work and time bound scale of pay as applicable in other states are being delayed, which frustrates them.

The Federation also opposes the Electricity Bill 2014 which aims at segregating Carriage and content in the distribution sector and giving multiple licensee and shall join hands in the proposed all India joint rally of Electricity Employees and Engineers on 14th March 2014 I all State capitals against the above issues.

The Federation demanded implementation of 7th Pay commission recommendation in Electricity sector, manpower restructuring of Electricity distribution sector and review of the policies practiced so far in Odisha Power Sector particularly distribution sector. The Federation suggested amalgamation of all power companies and formation of a unified corporation as in Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, said engineer B P Paital, secretary general of the Federation.