Ritesh: Ajoy Mehta claimed at the recent 3rd Feb 2014 Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industries event, that Maharashtra AT&C losses now only 14% and there was power availability to everyone!
The reliability indices published by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) for the last two years show that the promise of providing efficient power supply in the state has largely remained unfulfilled.
The MSEDCL has released the indices for 2011-12 and 2012-13 based on the number of power interruptions, number of consumers affected and duration of interruptions. Releasing the indices is mandatory under the standards of performance 2005 fixed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).
Consumer activists and energy experts say the slide in reliability should be taken seriously and that the regulatory commission must analyse the data provided by the MSEDCL with an intent to find concrete solutions.
The reliability index or the Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI) means the average interruption duration of sustained disruptions for consumers during the reporting period. It is determined by dividing the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI).
As per the data furnished by MSEDCL, in 2011, SAIDI figure was 5.13 minutes. In 2012 it rose to 7.43 minutes and in 2013 it was 10.33 minutes. This means average interruption duration was 5.13 minutes in 2010-11 which doubled in 2012-13 to 10.33 minutes.
“This is more serious as the distribution company has invested thousands of crores of rupees in the last couple of years on infrastructure. We urge the regulatory commission to inquire into this alarming trend,” said Vivek Velankar, founder of Sajag Nagrik Manch.
Ashwini Chitnis, a member of Prayas Energy Group, echoes similar sentiments.
“Reliability of supply is the most important parameter from consumers’ point of view. It is inked to availability as well as distribution and transmission management i.e. preventive maintenance, fault resolution, planning, network strengthening and augmentation,” Chitnis said.
While calculating reliability indices scheduled outages, outages due to grid failure and due to natural calamities are not included. Hence, the reported indices are not a complete representation of the actual interruptions faced by consumers, Chitnis said.
“Further, important information such as consumer category-wise, region-wise (urban/rural) distribution of interruptions is not available, which makes it difficult to do any meaningful analysis based on these numbers. In spite of these flaws, it is indeed worrisome that the indices reported over the last two years show a worsening trend and the commission should undertake detailed analysis to find out why this has happened,” Chitnis said.
Chitnis said that this should serve as a wake-up call for the commission to revive the process of amending its Standards of Performance Regulations (a process which was initiated in 2010 but has not concluded as yet) whereby the commission can define better formats for capturing data regarding supply reliability.