A This Union cabinet has recently approved a Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.
The scheme requires that DISCOMs (Power Distribution Companies) submit detailed project reports (DPRs) on how they plan to reduce their operational losses to avail of funding.
Initially, the preliminary timeline given to discoms was 31st October 2021. It is now extended to 31st December 2021.
Q What are objectives of this Scheme ?
Reduction of AT&C (aggregate technical & commercial) losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% by 2024-25.
Reduction of ACS-ARR gap (i.e. between the total cost of electricity and revenues generated from supplying power) to zero by 2024-25.
Developing institutional capabilities for modern discoms.
Improvement in the quality, reliability, and affordability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally efficient Distribution Sector.
Implementation of the Scheme would be based on the action plan worked out for each state rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Q What are key features of the Scheme ?
Conditional Financial Assistance: The Scheme seeks to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of all DISCOMs (excluding Private Sector DISCOMs) by providing conditional financial assistance to DISCOMs for strengthening of supply infrastructure.
Subsuming of Various Schemes: It is proposed that the currently ongoing approved projects under the following Schemes would be subsumed:
Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)
Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)
Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY)
Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) 2015 for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.
Solarization of Agricultural Feeders: The Scheme has a major focus on improving electricity supply for the farmers and for providing daytime electricity to them through solarization of agricultural feeders.
This Scheme converges with the PM-KUSUM Scheme, which aims to solarize all feeders, and provide avenues for additional income to farmers.
Smart Metering: A key feature of the Scheme is to enable consumer empowerment by way of prepaid Smart metering to be implemented in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode.
Smart meters would allow consumers to monitor their electricity consumption on a routine basis instead of monthly basis, which can help them in usage of electricity as per their own needs and in terms of the resources available.
It is proposed to install approximately 10 crore prepaid Smart Meters by December, 2023 in the first phase.
Leveraging Technology: Artificial Intelligence would be leveraged to prepare system generated energy accounting reports.
This will enable DISCOMs to take informed decisions on loss reduction, demand forecasting, Time of Day (ToD) tariff, Renewable Energy (RE) Integration and for other predictive analysis