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Powering Bihar: Approaches to distribution reforms
May 08, 2013

The power sector in Bihar needs significant improvement to attract investments in new industries in the state. That was the consensus at Powering Bihar - Approaches to Distribution Reforms, a conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Bihar State Office in Patna.

However, Bihar’s Power Minister, Shri Bijendra Prasad Yadav, said the overall situation is looking up. By 2015, the minister added, Bihar is expected to generate about 5,000 MW, for which the state government will provide the required funds.

Mr Pramod Kumar Sinha, Past Chairman, CII Bihar State Council called for a Franchise Model in the Power Sector and said rationalization of power tariff is important for industrialization in the state. According to him, transmission & distribution (T&D) loss in Bihar is quite high.

In his keynote address, Mr Praveer Sinha, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Power Delhi Distribution, said the power sector is saddled with a number of challenges. Bihar is coming up fast, and there would have been more investors lining up but for the less-than-expected power scenario.

Mr U N Panjiar, Chairman, Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission, Patna, detailed the steps BERC has taken to address certain issues.

Mr Sandeep Poundrik, Secretary, Department of Energy, Bihar, said the state government is working on proposals to introduce improved technologies that will not only ensure efficiency in transmission and distribution but will also curb theft.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Subhas Sethi, Chairman, CII Energy Sub-Committee, Eastern Region, said the Franchise Model/ PPP Model could play a major role in improving the power scenario in the state.

The inaugural Session was followed by two Technical Sessions – the first on Distribution Reforms- Ideas & Technology and the second on Improving Efficiency of Distribution.

The other dignitaries present included Mr Debasis Mohapatra, Senior Manager, Price Waterhouse Coopers; Mr Rajesh Mediratta, Director- Business Development, IEX; Mr Soumyen Chatterjee, Deputy General Manager, CESE; Mr A K Verma, Member Secretary, Gujarat Ecology Commission and Former Managing Director, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Ltd; Mr Amanullah, CEO, SPML Utilities Ltd.

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