Electricity is the most important factor in the economic growth of any country. And the most critical segment of Power Sector chain including Generation, Transmission and Distribution, is the Distribution Sector. Efficient management of the distribution of electricity sector is mandatory as it acts as an interface between the utilities and the consumers. The real challenge in the power sector today lies in efficiency. However, the poor financial health of the distribution utilities in the States has resulted in inadequate investment in the distribution network making it difficult to meet the increasing demands of power in urban areas.
Keeping in mind the importance of requirement for continual up-gradation and creation of infrastructure for electricity distribution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Integrated Power Development Scheme in Varanasi. Under this scheme, the State Governments with the support of the Central Government will attempt to ensure 24/7 power for all. All Discoms (Distribution Companies), including the Private Sector Discoms as well as the State Power Departments, will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
One of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Power, IPDS will aim at strengthening of sub-transmission network, and also be involved in metering, IT application, customer care Services, provisioning of solar panels, and the completion of the ongoing works of Restructured Accelerated Power Development and completion of the Reforms Programme (RAPDRP).
To help keep pace with the increase in demand for electricity, the Government of India will provide budgetary support of Rs. 45,800 crore over the entire implementation period of IPDS. The project will have the following features:
• In Varanasi the overhead power lines will be converted into underground cabling, especially near the ghats as well as in close proximity of the temples.
• The electric assets at Sub – centres, lines and distribution transformers will be upgraded along with capacity enhancement and renewal of the old sub – stations.
• Roof-top solar panel will be installed in government buildings.
• IPDS will help in reduction in AT&C losses (Aggregate Technical & Commercial).
• IT enabled energy accounting / auditing system will be established.
• End-to-end metering to ensure proper accounting, billing, load pattern assessment and planning of infrastructure required.
• Proper metering will also help in identifying high loss pockets so as to initiate remedial measures towards reduction of losses.
• Improvement in billed energy based on metered consumption and improvement in collection efficiency.
Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) will extend financial assistance against capital expenditure to bridge the gap in sub transmission & distribution network and metering in urban areas to supplement the resources of DISCOMs/Power Deptt. Technical clearance for the proposed works has already been obtained, while invitation of tenders from prospective bidders is still pending.
At present the government plans to extend this scheme to urban areas (Statutory Towns) only. In 1st phase towns having population up to 15000 may be taken up, and the population threshold may be gradually reduced to 5000.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, on 18 September, 2015, to launch Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) at a public meeting in the DLW Grounds.
IPDS is indeed a positive step towards a brighter future which will help enhance the economic growth of India. Electricity is vital for the overall development of the nation, and the Union Government by launching this scheme is all set to push India in the right direction of development.
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