Odisha Government should not allow private companies to take charge of power distribution in the State, demanded Odisha State unit of the CPI (M).
The Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has hinted that it may opt for auction for private parties managing these power distribution companies. So, the CPI (M) has urged the State government to stop the process and continue power distribution through public corporations.
Speaking to The Hindu, State secretary of the CPI (M) Ali Kishore Patnaik said Odisha has a chance to become torchbearer for the country by showing up the vagaries of privatisation of power sector. According to him, Odisha during the nineties of last century was the first State to opt for privatisation of power sector. "It is interesting to note that learning from failures of privatisation of power sector in Odisha most other States have not opted for it till now," Mr Patnaik said.
He felt Odisha government should accept the failure of privatisation of power distribution sector in the State and never opt for it. This would be an eye opener for other States who may still be thinking of privatisation of power sector, Mr Patnaik added.
According to him, the decision of the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission to revoke licences of three Reliance Infrastructure-managed power distribution companies operating in different regions was right. He, however, criticised the government for tolerating the abysmal performance as well as financial irregularities of private company managed power distribution companies.
It may be noted that under Section 19 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the OERC has cancelled licences granted to Reliance Infrastructure to manage three power distribution companies of the State. "the greatest irony is that originally these licenses had been granted to BSES which had been later taken over by the Reliance group. The Reliance Infrastructure had no direct link or MoU with the State government yet due to some suspected relations with the ruling BJD, the company continued to manage power distribution companies in Odisha", the State CPI (M) chief alleged.
Source- The Hindu