By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 9, 2017: Odisha has achieved 5 percent reduction in Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) loss in 2016-17. However, AT&C losses in the state are still a huge concern.

In 2015-16 the total AT&C loss in LT system was around 51.57% which was reduced to 46.45% in the last fiscal. During 1st four months of the current fiscal year it has further been reduced around 1.5%. This was revealed from Power distribution review taken by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here on Monday.

The AT&C losses in Odisha are one of the highest and almost two times compared to national average. At an All-India level, the total losses had come down from 26.63% in 2011-12 to 21.81% in 2015-16.

Traditionally, losses in the power sector are accounted as Transmission & Distribution losses (T&D). These losses are accounted as a percentage of output. T&D losses, as a measure of grid losses, have been replaced by AT&C losses for better clarity. T&D losses together with loss in revenue collection give AT&C losses.

Power distribution to the last mile is done by the Distribution Companies, popularly known as Discoms. Reviewing the progress, Padhi directed all the Discoms to achieve 7% reduction in AT&C loss in LT sector during the current year.

Padhi further directed to expedite the works of rural electrification during the ensuing working season and achieve power connectivity to all villages by end of December, 2017.

Padhi also asked officials to expedite rural electrification works and achieve power connectivity to all villages by end of December 2017. Energy Secretary, Hemant Kumar Sharma informed that a detailed project report (DPR) was prepared to electrify 3,474 un-electrified villages in the year 2014-15. So far 3,150 villages have been connected with power supply.

Padhi instructed the energy department to electrify all the rest 324 villages  by December 2017. Sharma said billing and collection has improved after introduction of performance based incentive system. Mobile-phone-based billing system, receiving payment of power bills at post offices, installation of POS machines in counters of all Discoms and digital payment gateways are a few initiatives taken to improve performance.

Basing on the experience of earlier operations, 10 performance, loss reduction and evaluation indicators were identified in the meeting. These included disconnection drives, top private defaulter check, billing dispute redressal camp, tamper detection drive, CD enhancement, consumer category change as per changing consumption and use, check meter reading, meter replacement and hooking detection and new service connection.

As per 2011 census, total households in the State were 96 lakhs. Out of this, so far more than 68 lakh houses have been electrified. More than 3.18 lakh houses were provided new connection during the year 2016-17. In the current year 1,21,310 new households were provided new connection by end of July, 2017. Target was set to provide power connection to the balance 28 lakh houses by end of March, 2018.