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Rajasthan has remained power deficient for last five years during the Ashok Gehlot regime despite of claims of better management in the power sector.
This is what reveals Union ministry of power data. It says the electricity deficit during last five years ranged from .3% to 3% while the transmission and distribution losses (T&D) losses come down marginally from around 29% to 27%.
“Yes, there was electricity shortage but we tried to manage it to our best. We brought down the rate of electricity purchase from `6-8 per unit to around `3-4 per unit during the last five years. Earlier, the electricity was purchased from the power exchange at an exorbitant rate of `14 and `17 per unit also,” a former chairman and managing director (CMD) of power discoms said.
Electricity supply was one of the major election planks for Vasundhara Raje in her Suraaj Sankalp Yatra before assembly election and now she has a task on hand to provide round-the-clock electricity to domestic consumers and eight-hour block of three phase electricity to farmers as promised in her manifesto.
“Managing electricity supply in Rajasthan is an uphill task and we have started effort to strengthen the distribution network and lessening the T&D losses. We are also carrying out an energy audit of discoms to ascertain the actual power situation in the state. Availability of electricity is not a concern now as we can freely buy it from power exchange, “ RG Gupta CMD of all three power discom said.
Gupta has been the CMD of discoms in last regime of Vasundhara Raje (2003-08) and he was brought out of retirement in January to again head the state discoms while Gehlot had relied on IAS officers to manage power situation during his regime.
But, experts say strengthening of distribution network is the biggest challenge before discoms in Rajasthan. “Power reforms were slow in the last five years. Control of power purchase rate from energy exchange, strengthening distribution network and consumer services and T&D losses are the biggest issue to deal in energy sector in Rajasthan today.” Ashiwini Kumar a retired discom engineer said.