Govt gets cold feet over discom privatisation plans
Bowing to the strong opposition from the employees of state-owned power companies, the Haryana government has decided to go slow on its plan to privatise electricity distribution in Gurgaon and Panipat districts.chandigarh Updated: Apr 28, 2011 00:22 IST
Bowing to the strong opposition from the employees of state-owned power companies, the Haryana government has decided to go slow on its plan to privatise electricity distribution in Gurgaon and Panipat districts.
“The authorities have indicated to the distribution companies that they are in no hurry to go ahead with the private franchisee model for power supply. The plan has been kept in abeyance for the time being due to strong opposition from the employees of the power companies,” sources told Hindustan Times.
Power distribution companies Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) have already prepared a roadmap for engaging private firms for electricity distribution in these two districts and roped in CRISIL, a leading consultancy firm, about a year ago to execute the plan. CRISIL has submitted its report more than four months ago.
As per the original plan, the discoms (distribution companies) should have completed the process of selection of franchisees for distribution of power in the two primarily, industrialised districts by now.
Financial commissioner and principal secretary, power, Madhusudan Prasad was not available for comments.
The power sector employees and the opposition parties are opposed to the privatisation plan. The All Haryana Power Corporation Workers’ Union general secretary Subhash Lamba said that there was no justification for the government's attempt to give entry to private firms into power sector through the backdoor and such moves would be resisted.
“The official argument regarding the line-loss levels in these two districts is totally flawed. The line losses are much more in several other districts. These two districts contribute substantial revenues to the two distribution companies,” he said.
Similarly, All India Power Engineers’ Federation chairman Padamjit Singh has termed the plan as an attempt to favour the private players.
Gurgaon, which falls under the distribution network of DHBVN, accounts for around 40% of its overall revenue flows. Panipat, on the other hand, falls in the supply area of UHBVN and accounts for around 20% of its revenue.
The opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) have also opposed to the entry of private players in power distribution in the two revenue-generating industrial hubs of the state.