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Not providing 24-hour power supply from March 2019 to cost discoms dear: Govt

New Delhi: In a significant move towards providing 24-hour electricity in villages and urban areas, the government has decided to make it a mandatory for all power distribution companies to maintain 24-hour power supply from 2019 onwards and to fail which would invite hefty fines.
"During a meeting with power ministers of all the states, we discussed providing uninterrupted power supply across the country, and a target date was fixed to provide 24-hour power supply. In the meeting, it was decided to incorporate the target date of March 2019 in the law to make it mandatory for all discoms to maintain 24-hour power supply," said RK Singh, the Minister of State (I/C) for Power, in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour on Thursday.
The minister made it very clear that a new law would be enacted to impose penalties on power discoms in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019. " Load-shedding without any valid reason would be penalised, while technical load-shedding would be exempt from the fine," Singh said in Parliament.
"All the states have agreed to the proposal, and on their consent, the government has set the target date of March 2019. So there will be no load-shedding from the target date onwards," the minister said, adding that we have to improve our system to reduce the losses.
"The government has also decided to bring major changes in the tariff policy. As per the decision, from January 2019 onwards, if discoms register above 15 percent loss, the losses would not be recovered from consumers," the minister said.
Singh said the government had set a target of reducing the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of power from the current 21 percent to 15 percent by January 2019.
He said Rs 1,75,000 crore is being spent to improve the power infrastructure across the country.
"Some T&D losses are inherent in the system. These are termed technical losses. As per a study, the technical losses range approximately from 2.62 percent to 7.71 percent.
"Additional losses are caused by theft. At the all-India level, energy loss in T&D for the year 2015-16 was 240864.31 million units (21.81 percent). As per estimates, reduction of 1 percent in T&D losses results in a saving of Rs 4,146.60 crore regarding power purchase cost," he said.
Singh said by December 2018, 1,694 villages, which are yet to be electrified, will have electricity connection and works in this regard has been going on.
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