Guwahati: Facing Rs 900-crore annual revenue loss by Assam Power Distribution Company, the state government on Monday said it will implement Ring Fence System, a technology to prevent stealing of power at a total expenditure of Rs 875 crore.
The Ring Fence System will be set up in 72 towns along with the state capital under the Central government`s Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Programme (R-APDRP).
"To stop misuse of power, mainly theft, we are going to implement an advanced technology-based system, called Ring Fence System, in Guwahati and another 72 towns initially. The total expenditure of the project will be Rs 875 crore," Assam Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told reporters here.
The project is mainly Centre-funded and Assam government will bear 10 per cent of the total cost, he added.
"The project work has already started and we hope to complete the first phased in the next two years. With operationalisation of this system, we hope to bring down the state`s power loss to 15 per cent from 28 per cent currently," Bordoloi said.
The government is very serious on stopping power theft and it may even consider bringing in a new law to punish the guilty, the Minister said without sharing any detail.
Talking about the functioning of Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL), Bordoloi said, "In the last two years, the company has added 16 lakh new families. However, it has been able to collect payment for power consumption from only 18 per cent of these new customers."
Currently, the stat-owned APDCL`s monthly expenditure stands at Rs 300 crore, while its income is only Rs 225 crore.
He said if APDCL can bring down the power loss by just one per cent even, it will be able to save Rs 9 crore a month.
"When we started power reforms in 2005, the then Assam State Electricity Board had a debt of Rs 5,000 crore. The government took the entire responsibility of this and set up the APDCL as a debt-free entity. Since then, it has been working on to connect 26,000 villages with electricity," Bordoloi said.