GUWAHATI: NESSIA has expressed its grave concern for the service to be provided to power consumers in the state in the present scenario. It feels it will be a daunting task and hard challenge for APDCL to provide quality power and service 24x7 now and in the very near future. The main hindrances are the acute shortage of manpower and poor infrastructure in rural power distribution.
In 2004-05 APDCL had to handle about 700 MW of power to service around 16 lakhs consumers with its man power strength of around 16000. Now the scene has changed drastically. The power to be handled has grown to around 2000MW and consumer base has increased to around 64 lakhs. The 11KV HT network has increased to around 75000 CKT KM and the subsequent LT network has increased to around1850000 Ckt KM. Ironically, the strength of manpower has reduced drastically to around 8000-9000. This disproportionate reduction of manpower strength against ever increasing power demand consumer base and networks forced APDCL to unwillingly compromise on its quality services and neglect many safety norms. And it was felt very badly in remote and rural areas.
There are around 1227 rural feeders having around 76% of APDCL consumers and due to lack of manpower and infrastructure mainly vehicles, equipment, materials etc, the rural sub-divisional staffs are having very tough time and are in acute pressure and stress. As a result services suffer.
Though there is no laid down norms till now in APDCL for manpower requirement for a feeder to be served, our own assessment indicates that for comfortable and quality services a minimum of 4nos of linemen,4 nos of sahayak,14 nos of un-skilled personals , 5 nos of BCMR (Bill clerk cum meter reader ) totalling 27 nos and 2 nos of vehicle are required for providing quality services all round (2 shifts )without fatigue ,stress in a feeder having maximum 80KM length with around 5000-6000 consumers and around 80-100 distribution transformers spread over a very vast area.
This comes to around 33000 field staff for 1227 rural feeders and the expenditure per annum will be around Rs.965.75 cr which is enormous and is surely be detrimental to utilities health and growth.
It is already under severe fund crunch & its financial health is not at all promising.
NESSIA President Sailen Baruah and state Secretary Kumud Chandra Medhi during discussion with chairman and managing Director of APDCL has suggested that APDCL may resort to yearly load verification of rural consumers to enhance its revenue ,reduce losses, utilize new technology available with energy efficient equipment at all level. “One very disturbing factor is the very high ratio of LT consumers to HT consumers which affects the revenue structure of the utility .Hence NESSIA urges APDCL to take pro-active role in encouraging HT consumers and to co-ordinate with department of Industries and Commerce.
NESSIA always encourages entrepreneurship and urge local youth to take up such enterprises to serve Assam .NESSIA requests APDCL to come forward in a big way in giving ample opportunities to around thousands of local youth by engaging them in meaningful activities such as rural power distribution franchisee to serve Assam.
In modern world where electricity is the main driving force for the growth of a society and per capita power consumption has increased, APDCL needs to engage these methods for better services 24x7 and to improve its own financial health.”
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