BHUBANESWAR: Encouraged by the success of revenue-based distribution franchise involving women self-help groups (WSHGs) of Nayagarh district, the Rural Electricity Corporation (REC) has reportedly agreed to assist the State for replicating the model in other districts.
The distribution franchise model piloted in Nayagarh district in 2010-11 has shown encouraging results. While distribution loss has been reduced by 7 per cent (from 56 per cent in 2010 to 49 in 2011), the aggregated technical and commercial (AT&C) loss has been reduced by 11 per cent (from 61 per cent in 2010 to 50 in 2011).
There has been noticeable improvement in billing and collection of revenue. The billing percentage has increased by 11 and the annual collection in 2011 was ` 2.11 crore against ` 1.83 crore in 2010. It meant an increase in collection by 33 per cent which is highest among the six electrical divisions of the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU).
This came to the notice of the State-level coordination committee on Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutkaran Yojana (RGGVY) which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik here on Saturday.
The evaluation report placed before the meeting showed that the initiative for involving WSHGs as franchisees at primary level in energy distribution was a success. The WSHGs were having responsibilities of meter reading, billing, delivery of bill, collection of revenue, facilitating new connections and pilferage-checking.
Encouraged by the results, REC chairman Rajiv Sharma recommended to the committee for replication of the model in other districts under RGGVY as per earlier Government decision.
The meeting decided to involve 5,000 more SHGs in the distribution business. Each gram panchayat will have one franchisee under Mission Shakti. Two members from each SHG will be trained in billing, accounting and other related works.
The meeting was informed that a State- level training programme for the trainers has already been organised and master trainers for all the districts have also been trained. Around 1,000 WSHGs’ members will be trained soon. The training cost has been estimated at Rs 2.22 crore.
According to preliminary estimates, around 6,000 new spot billing machines (SBM), costing around Rs 9 crore, will be necessary. Out of this one-third will be shared by the franchisee. The committee has resolved to arrange the rest amount from other permissible sources.
The State Government sought financial support from the REC to upscale the franchise model in all the electrical divisions. The REC chief promised to consider the proposal.