"To achieve the objective of electricity for all, India not only need reliable and affordable electricity supply but also need to upgrade the health of discoms." Discuss.

Electricity for all aims at providing each and every household access to electricity. But the objective to provide electricity for all does not come from only ensuring the affordable electric supply. At the same time, the health up-gradation is also needed for the companies who are responsible for the supply and distribution of energy to the consumers.

Problems with discoms

  • Huge losses and the outstanding debt of discoms are creating impediments to smooth operation.
  • Even after having the potential for power generation, only half of it is getting utilized mainly because of inefficiencies in distribution.
  • Discoms are facing Aggregate technical and commercial losses, the high price of bulk power due to high delivery cost of coal; interest cost on accumulated debt; low investment in distribution; poor metering, inefficiency in billing, and collection; lower tariffs, and politics of free power.
  • They are facing the problem to revise the tariff in order to compensate for their losses.

Efforts made by the government

The Union Government had already launched three schemes in the power sector i.e. IPDS, DDUGJY, and UDAY.

  • Under the Integrated Power Development Scheme, funds are provided to reduce AT&C losses, infrastructure upgradation, IT-based billing and auditing system, and improved efficiency in the collection. Even the private discoms are eligible to get government support.
  • Under Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana the main attention is given on feeder separation for rural households and agricultural purposes to separate the lines for agricultural and households.
  • Under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, a debt restructuring plan has been formulated for discoms.

Comment

Even after formulating multiple schemes, some of the major issues faced by the power sector, yet to be resolved. They are facing problems like coal shortage, unavailability of land, environment clearance, legal tangles, etc. Formulating plans and schemes considering all the issues will definitely improve the condition of the discoms ensuring electricity for all.

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