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Privatisation of power helped save Delhi 1.2 lakh crore since 2002, say discoms

Ever since electricity distribution was decentralised in Delhi in 2002, the national capital has saved at least ₹1
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON AUG 04, 2021 12:09 AM IST
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Ever since electricity distribution was decentralised in Delhi in 2002, the national capital has saved at least 1.2 lakh crore, mainly in terms of transmission loss, data shared by the three discoms on Tuesday showed.

The Delhi Vidyut Board was disbanded in 2002 and the power sector was privatised because of which aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses have significantly reduced,the discoms said.

“Delhi discoms have saved the city and its consumers over 1.2 lakh crore over the past 19 years. Of this, the biggest component is AT&C loss reduction, which has saved over 95,000 crore. At present, each percentage of AT&C loss reduction saves Delhi consumers around 250 crore,” said a BSES discom official, on condition of anonymity.

Records show that at the time of privatisation, AT&C losses in the national capital were over 55%. In fact, they were as high as 63% in east and central Delhi. Currently, AT&C losses stand at around 7.5%, a record reduction of around 48%, the discoms further said.

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“This is followed by investments of around 19,000 crore made by the Delhi discoms to improve the distribution network in the national capital. Currently. In the decade before privatisation, the AT&C losses in Delhi had increased by 20%. This, coupled with prolonged outages, was a reason to bring in privatisation. Now if we compare Delhi’s current power distribution system, then the losses in other states will be much higher,” the official quoted above said.

However, discoms said since there has been no significant tariff hike in Delhi since 2014, their power purchase costs have increased by over 300% since 2014, as compared to just 91% increase in the retail power tariff during the same period. “The savings by way of AT&C losses have provided a cushion to the Delhi discoms to ensure business continuity despite non cost reflective tariffs over the years. Due to non cost reflective tariffs, revenue gaps (regulatory assets) of the Delhi discoms have crossed the mark of over 50,000 crore, to touch 51,646 crore as of March 31, 2020,” said an official of discom Tata power-DDL, asking not to be named.

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