Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited [MSEDCL] fails miserably to reduce distribution losses

MSEDCL has miserably failed to reduce distribution losses in the past seven years. The cash-strapped discom claims to have reduced losses by 3.4%. But even this figure is misleading, because since 2014-15 MSEDCL has started excluding losses from farm pump feeders from the total figure. There had also been allegations that MSEDCL was inflating consumption of farmers to artificially reduce losses.MSEDCL will have to crack down on theft in high loss zones like Nanded and Jalgaon

NAGPUR:
On the other hand, hard work by officials of Nagpur and Wardha districts has paid off, and Nagpur zone comprising the two districts has the lowest distribution losses in the state. MSEDCL data shows the loss of Nagpur zone is 7.04% for 2017-18, against the state average of 14.16%. However, the losses in SNDL area are higher than state average at 14.53%. A MSEDCL official said Pune zone had the second lowest losses at 8.65% while Nanded zone had the highest losses at 24.58% followed by Jalgaon at 22.40%.
Data of past years shows that distribution losses in the state were 17.28% in 2010-11. This reduced to 14% in 2013-14. However, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) asked MSEDCL to exclude agricultural feeders, due to which the losses climbed to 16.37% in 2014-15, proving the power experts right. They climbed even higher to 17.37% in 2015-16 before reducing to 13.87% in 2017-18.
MSEDCL has a long way to go before its losses reach a satisfactory figure. There are two types of distribution losses — commercial and technical. For reducing commercial losses, MSEDCL will have to crack down on theft in high loss zones like Nanded and Jalgaon. A lot of investment is needed to reduce technical losses.
A senior official said that the ratio of length of high tension (HT) network to low tension (LT) network was 1:1.6 in the state. “Ideally, it should be 1:1. In Gujarat, the ratio is 1:0.7. CMD, has told TOI that a scheme would be launched to increase the HT network from August,” he added.
“Currently, a transformer caters to between 50 to 250 consumers. We now plan to connect a transformer to maximum 25 consumers. This will reduce low tension (LT) network,” he added.
The official further said that the company was grateful to union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, and energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule as they never interfered in anti-power theft drives. “Many energy and chief ministers in the past did not let us touch their voters,” he added.
Commenting on high loss levels, a SNDL spokesperson said that the figure was high due to a few pockets. “Hooking is rampant in these areas and no matter how many times we remove hooks, the residents again go for it. Plus, there are some 4,500 electromechanical meters, whose owners are not allowing us to change them. They use violence if our staff tries to change the meter. Many such consumers are government servants. Police department rarely provides us protection,” he further said.[Courtesy:The Times of India]

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