BENGALURU: Members of the Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and presented him a letter seeking immediate implementation of power sector reforms in the state.
The recommendations in the letter include reforms of electricity supply companies (ESCOMS) under the public-private partnership model in line with similar steps being taken in other states.
The letter also calls for an increase in private power generation besides the divestment of the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) which is reeling under an accumulating debt in the range of Rs 11,000 crore.
Other recommendations include asking the transmission utility KPTCL to enter into partnerships with the National Thermal Power Corporation or the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) to better transmission capacity. “The state should limit its involvement only to extending subsidies wherever such social obligations are deemed necessary. The state should not run, manage and govern ESCOMS or KPCL or KPTCL directly as it has singularly failed to deliver in the past 30 years,” the letter stated.
“We presented data and facts on the current state of affairs in state power generation and distribution with suggested reforms. The chief minister was positive in his response and agreed to look into the suggestions,” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, BPAC, president, said in a statement. Vice President T V Mohandas Pai said, “Huge subsidies extended to various sections also have shown negative results leading to higher power thefts. In Karnataka, power theft is being loaded on the agricultural sector and honest tax paying citizens are being penalised by high tariffs because of the state’s inability to reduce power theft.”