‘Power privatisation if Escoms don’t buck up’
Energy minister Shobha Karandlaje has sent a clear message to the Electricity Supply Companies (Escoms) in the state stating that the power sector could turn towards privatisation if the employees do not ‘buck up’ and keep transmission and distribution (TND) losses at a minimal.
Speaking at the decennial celebrations of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) on Wednesday, Karandlaje expressed serious concerns over the functioning of Escoms.
“I am not for privatisation. Having said that, if the company is forced to shut down due to persistent losses and narrow sources of revenue, then there may not be any choice left. We are already running on loans and money raised from various market sources. What can the government do?” she asked in response to a plea of BESCOM Engineers’ Union not to invite private players in the distribution of power.
She added that the possibility of turning to private players would be strong if the losses are not drastically cut down and recovery of tariff is not efficient.
“Most of the junior and assistant engineers at Escoms have adapted to the existing systems in the state. Despite evidence of T&D losses, few have tried to address the issue,” she rued.
Karandlaje called upon the engineers to devise innovative methods to generate and conserve power. She said there are no other possibilities to explore hydroelectricity apart from Sakleshpur and Shimsha. “We need to redefine the methods of generating power,” she said.