OERC yet to evaluate discoms’ performance

Commission has not held half-yrly review since 2022-23
Representational image
Representational image

BHUBANESWAR: As the recent spell of summer storms has exposed the inherent weakness in the power sector infrastructure, the role of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has come under scrutiny so far as periodic review of the standards of performance of the distribution licensees are concerned.

The commission which has been conducting half-yearly performance review of all power sector utilities including Gridco and OPTCL since 2006 is yet to evaluate the performance of the four distribution companies managed by Tata Power for 2022-23. Annual scrutiny of the four discoms - TPCODL, TPNODL, TPSODL and TPWODL - was last carried out in June 2022.

The public outcry over frequent power tripping even during normal times has neither been addressed by the discoms nor has OERC taken action against the distribution licensees as per the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (Licensees’ Standards of Performance) Regulations, 2004.

As per the annual performance report of TPCODL for the year ending March 2022, the company reported 3,174 burning of distribution transformers and failure of five power transformers. The number of interruptions in 33 KV feeders was 2,950, while disturbances in 11 KV feeders stood at 7,018.

“Grievances received (from consumers) are more or less similar to previous FY 2020-21. The failure of power transformers has come down to four against 12 in 2020-21. These are good signs of improvement in performance over previous financial year,” TPCODL CEO informed OERC in its report.

The system failure was no better for TPNODL. While the number of failure of power transformers was 27, burning of distribution transformers was 2,533. The number of interruptions in 33 KV feeders had gone up to 7,856 while in 11 KV feeders it rose to 3,39,516.

In case of TPSODL covering the southern parts of the state, 1,514 cases of transformer burning were reported. The number of interruptions in 11 KV feeders were 87,889 and grievance received from consumers increased during 2021-22, CEO of the company reported.

The performance of TPWODL, the distribution licensee for the industrially-developed western Odisha districts, is no better. The company said the failure of power transformers came down but burning of 3,297 distribution transformers were reported. Similarly, interruptions in 33 KV and 11 KV feeders were 22,619 and 3,14,324 respectively in 2020-21.

Asked when the annual performance of review of the discoms for 2022-23 will be held, sources in OERC said that the commission has invited request for proposal (RFP) to assist it for performance review of the Tata Power Central Odisha Distribution Limited (TPCODL) after completion of third year of its operation in the state.

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