Odisha forms panel for R-APDRP implementation

Sunday, 22 September 2013 06:37 Harikumar B

OdishaThe Odisha government has constituted a 10-member steering committee headed by the chief secretary for implementation of Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APDRP) scheme in the command area of distribution utility- Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha Ltd (Cesu).

The panel would also have the development commissioner, secretaries of departments of finance, revenue & disaster management, energy and housing & urban development as members. In addition to top government officials, the chairman cum managing director of Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL), chairman as well as chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Cesu will be the members of the steering committee.

Since the electricity distribution business was privatized in Odisha, the distribution companies (discoms) were bereft of any funding under the original APDRP scheme. But the Union power ministry considered the case of Cesu for financial assistance on the condition that the money will be routed through the state government.

A quadripartite agreement will be signed among the ministry, Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Odisha government and Cesu for release of funds. Initially, the Centre has agreed to include two operational areas of Cesu- Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for funding.

R-APDRP is aimed at upgrading the sub-transmission and distribution network, including energy accounting and metering in the urban areas having population of more than 30,000.

The state government has identified 12 such towns that meet the criteria. The funding for all these towns has been estimated at Rs 410 crore. This includes Rs 190 crore receivable fund from the Centre and the residual Rs 220 crore to be raised by Cesu as counterpart funding.

In November last year, the state government had given its consent to receive funds under R-APDRP, channelizing them to distribution sector in Cesu area as per requirement of the scheme, undertaking responsibility of fulfilling the conditions prescribed in the scheme and accepting the obligation of the repayment of the loans.
It may be noted that the Odisha government has been persistently demanding financial assistance under R-APDRP. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this connection in February last year.

Stating that by availing R-APDRP assistance many states have substantially reduced the AT&C (aggregate technical & commercial) losses to below 25%, Patnaik said that Odisha was still suffering AT&C loss of about 40% on being deprived of R-APDRP assistance.

As part of the reforms process, the Odisha government had unbundled the erstwhile Odisha State Electricity Board (OSEB) by structural separation and corporatisation of generation, transmission and distribution. Fifty one% of OSEB's shares were transferred to four distribution companies- Cesu, North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Nesco), Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Wesco) and Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Southco).

Source - Business standard