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Cesc eyes ambitious targets in Karnataka

According to reports,Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (Cesc) is embarking on several customer-friendly initiatives with a new customer care centre to be opened, apart from a foundation stone being laid for the corporate office on February 28.The ambitious programme includes part A and part B.

In part A it will be partnering with the IT major Infosys, for computerisation of its entire jurisdiction which includes Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Hassan and Kodagu districts at a cost of Rs 32 crore. Part B shall include mainstream projects that will drive efficiency of the power distribution system.
Addressing a press meet here on Saturday, Cesc managing director P Bore Gowda said, Mandya has been selected as the first town in the entire country for the pilot project where all 17 modules, including metering, billing and collection under the restructuring accelerated power development and reforms programme (RAPDRP) has already been implemented.

The ambitious RAPDRP strives to revive the ailing power-distribution sector through investment assistance to bring about the overall improvement, he said and added initially Cesc proposes to roll out the projects in urban areas, towns and cities where the population exceeds 30,000 in two phases.
“If anyone wants a new power connection, unlike in the past, all one has to do is apply online. Once the application is registered, the system will takeover and it will give all details like the need for transformer, also the optimum location to place a pole and finally it will give details to the stores of the company for all equipment needed,” said Gowda. The whole idea behind introducing all modern methods is to overcome the delay. The total cost of the project for all the 12 towns, including Mysore, Nanjangud, Madikeri, Kollegal, Hunsur, Chamarajanagar, K R Nagar, Mandya, Malavalli, Hassan, Arsikere and Channarayapatna is estimated to be Rs 59.27 crore, he said.

Plan A would involve asset mapping of the entire distribution network that includes distribution transformers and feeders, low tension lines, poles and other network equipment. All projects implemented under this programme will be verified by an independent agency appointed by the Ministry of Power, he said.

“The normal complaint when there is a power shutdown is that the people manning the complaint desk does not pick up the phone or they let it off the hook. But with online booking and introduction of a free toll-free phone number in all five districts, complaints will automatically get registered. Sms alerts will automatically go to the consumer on his mobile phone and it will be possible to address the problem at the earliest. Once the power is restored even that message will be automatically sent,” said Gowda.
Funding for projects All projects under RAPDRP follow an innovating funding mechanism. For all approved projects within part A, the Centre will initially fund 100 per cent on terms decided by the Ministry of Finance in the form of a loan. If the projects are completed within three years of sanctioning, the loan amount along with interest will get converted into a grant after verification by an independent agency appointed by the Power ministry, he said.

Cesc managing director P Bore Gowda was confident that there will be no major shutdowns even during peak summer this year. Power consumption, which is now 18 million units is likely to go up to 20 to 25 million units and under Mysore Cesc it could reach 21 million units.

Power generation is limited, but on a single day on Friday, the state consumed 175 million units. The demand for power is increasing. However, there are many issues that need to be sorted out, he said.
With the KERC (Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission) monitoring every move, the power exchange tender has to be approved by them. Hence, power purchases are nowadays being planned on a long term basis. Even sugar factories producing power, invoking the emergency clause they have to produce power and give it to the state till May 31, said Gowda.

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