BHUBANESWAR: Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (CESU) has inked a pact with Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of Rockefeller Foundation, to work on a model to improve electricity access and reliability in rural areas of Odisha.
As per the agreement, CESU and SPI will work together to develop and implement a model distribution zone in a selected area to demonstrate improvements in electricity service by enhancing reliability and customer services.
The learnings and impact from the initiative will be further used to address challenges in enhancing electricity access, providing high-quality electricity service and stimulating demand in rural areas.
Senior General Manager of CESU Manoj Kumar Singh said the partnership will help design a financially viable roadmap to ensure reliable electricity supply in rural areas through an innovative community-based strategy enabled by technology.
“It will improve the viability of electricity distribution service in rural areas of the State and help deliver last-mile services to enhance customer experience,” he added.
Odisha has been one of the few States to have provided 24x7 power to its customers for the last several years. The power sector has also been able to enhance reliability and supply to rural consumers by leveraging private players through input-based franchisee model in selected areas over the last five years.
Though there has been considerable progress in enhancing access, customers continue to face critical problems related to rural electricity supply in terms of high losses incurred by distribution companies and service issues.
Commending Odisha Government for initiating reforms in power sector, CEO of SPI Jaideep Mukherji said apart from strengthening the supply of electricity to the rural areas, it is imperative to improve the quality of electricity supply and customer service.
“The collaboration with CESU to develop and implement a model will address challenges and provide probable solutions which can be replicated in the rest of the State. Our aim through this programme is to demonstrate best practices in the last mile rural service delivery under CESU’s management,” he added.