At a time when the Chandigarh electricity department is struggling to streamline its system, the UT administration has failed to implement the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) even four years after initiating the process.
R-APDRP aims at improving the financial viability of the department, reduction in transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, reliability, quality and availability of power supply.
In 2010, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Power Finance Corporation (PFC), the administration had appointed an IT consultant for execution of the project, but the work could not be initiated as the allotment was put on hold on technical grounds.
The project was divided into two parts. The first part covered compilation of baseline data and IT application for energy accounting, auditing and consumer services, automatic data logging and meter reading and feeder segregation. The second part of the project included renovation, modernisation and strengthening of 11-KV level sub-stations, transformers and centres; re-conducting of lines at 11-KV level and below, load bifurcation and load balancing, installation of capacitor banks and mobile service centres and strengthening of 66 KV sub-stations.
For execution of projects under the first phase, the union government had agreed for 100% funding through loan, which will be converted into grant once the establishment of the required system is completed within three years from the date of sanctioning and it is verified by an independent agency.
Blaming the consultant for the delay, UT superintending engineer MP Singh said the same company had bagged contracts in other states like Punjab and Bihar for execution of similar projects, but failed to deliver and got tangled in legal battles. “We were apprehensive of continuing with the same company and decided to start afresh the process of hiring another consultant,” said MP Singh, who maintained that R-APDRP will help them in streamlining the system and improving overall efficiency.
The administration has been struggling to cut its T&D losses, which stand at 21%, while guidelines say it should not be over 15%.
There are nearly 2 lakh consumers falling under different categories, of which 1.75 lakh fall in the domestic category, but only about 6,000 users have declared their load. Over the years, due to non-declaration of actual load, the department is facing losses and problem of overloading of transformers.
Highlights of the project
The focus is on actual, demonstrable performance in terms of sustained loss reduction.
Establishment of reliable and automated systems for sustained collection of accurate base line data and adoption of IT in the areas of energy accounting are necessary preconditions for the sanction of projects.