Govt to tackle power theft on war-footing: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that the government will tackle the electricity thefts and distribution losses on a war-footing and work for a broad national consensus on power distribution and pricing reforms.
"High transmission and distribution losses and theft of electricity are unacceptable. These need to be tackled on a war-footing," said the Prime Minister after giving away national awards to the power utilities.
Singh said reforms in the distribution, which were vital for commercial viability and sustainability of the power sector have not received adequate attention in the past.
He said, there was a need to forge a broad national consensus on these reforms.
The Prime Minister also added that the demand for power has outstripped the supply and the shortage remained a constraint on the development and livelihoods of people.
"It is indeed sad that power shortage in varying degrees still remains a constraint on development and livelihoods of people throughout the country," he said, adding the total addition of generation capacity in 10th Five Year Plan was just about 50 per cent of what had been targeted.
"Even in a premium state like Maharashtra, children were not able to study during the examination time because of power shortage.That's the measure of our gap. We must introspect what is it that has gone wrong," he reasoned.
The Prime Minister said the government was giving attention to hydro electricity and given the geographical concentration of hydel generation, an efficient transmission was required to transmit power from far off sources to load centres.
Once the southern regional grid was synchronised with the 90,000 MW national grid in the 11th Plan, the country's transmission system would operate as one large interconnected grid, he said.