New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the government will tackle the electricity theft and distribution losses on a war-footing and work for a broad national consensus on power distribution and pricing reforms.
“High transmission and distribution losses and theft of electricity are unacceptable. These need to be tackled on a war-footing,” the Prime Minister said here after giving away national awards to the power utilities.
Singh said reforms in the distribution, which were vital for commercial viability and sustainability of the power sector had not received adequate attention in the past.
He said there was a need to forge a broad national consensus on these reforms.
The Prime Minister said the demand for power had outstripped the supply and the shortages remained a constraint on the development and livelihoods of people.
“It is indeed regrettable that across the country, power shortage in varying degrees still remain a constraint on development and livelihoods,” he said, adding the total addition of generation capacity in 10th Five Year Plan was just about 50% of what had been targeted.
Even in a premium state like Maharashtra, children were not able to study during examination times because of power outages, he said. “That’s the measure of our gap. We must introspect what is it that has gone wrong,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government was giving attention to hydro electricity and given the geographical concentration of hydel generation, an efficient transmission was required to transmit power from far off sources to load centres.
Once the southern regional grid was synchronised with the 90,000 MW national grid in the 11th Plan, the entire country’s transmission system would operate as one large interconnected grid, he said.