Parliamentary panel asks Power ministry for comprehensive plan on peak power demand


A Parliamentary panel has asked the government to make a comprehensive plan to fully meet peak power demand apart from ad hoc arrangements in view of the projected high electricity demand of 230 GW in April this year. The power ministry has taken many steps to meet the unprecedented high demand for power during this summer season like the direction for all imported coal-based power plants to run at full capacity from March 16, 2023, to June 15, 2023. Besides the ministry has also asked domestic coal-based thermal plants to import coal for blending it with domestic dry fuel to avoid shortages.
About the New Electricity Policy, it stated that the policy serves as a beacon light for the Power Sector as a whole and lays a coherent trajectory for its future growth and development. The panel noted that National Power Training Institute (NPTI) has submitted that there are areas such as Cyber Security, Smart Distribution Sector, etc. where the shortage of trained manpower is being felt. Their budgetary allocations and performance should correspond to the ensuing requirements, it suggested.
The panel noted that there are 10 States/Union Territories where Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses, instead of decreasing, have rather increased during the last five years. These figures do not augur well for the aim of the Government to contain AT&C losses in the country to the level of 12-15 per cent, it stated.
It suggested that the ministry should urgently find out the reasons for the increase in AT&C losses in these States and help the concerned States/DISCOMs to make customized plans to arrest deterioration of the condition.
The RDSS (Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme) Scheme envisages the installation of 25 crore Smart Meters at consumer, DT, and feeder level by the year 2025-26. It noted that so far only 70 lakh Smart Meters have been installed and out of this, only 10 lakh are Pre-Paid Meters. It suggested that the ministry should ensure that there is no constraint in the supply of technologically updated and good quality Smart Meters in the country.