Gujarat has approved a total of 1.64 crore smart meters for consumer usage.
In brief, the Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy responded to a question asked by RS MP Parimal Nathwani. The response was concise and to the point.
The central government has sanctioned total outlay of Rs 16,663 crore over a period of five years from Financial Year (FY) 2021-22 to FY 2025-26 under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) for the power sector in Gujarat. RDSS aims to bring about financial discipline in the distribution sector and also to strengthen the distribution infrastructure for providing uninterrupted power supply to the consumers. At India level, the total outlay was Rs 3,03,758 crores and Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) was Rs 97,631 crores over a period of five years from FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-25. The information was provided in the Rajya Sabha on December 12, 2023 by the Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy Shri R.K. Singh, while replying to a question raised by Member of Parliament, Shri Parimal Nathwani.
According to the statement of the minister, about 19.79 crores pre-paid consumer smart meters are planned to be deployed across States, of which 1.648 croresmart meters are planned to be installed in Gujarat. In Gujarat, total 60.09 lakh smart meters will be installed in the first phase, while 1.05 crore more meters will be installed in second phase.
Shri Nathwani wanted to know about the schemes launched by the Power Ministry since the year 2018 till date along with details of the targets set and achievements made under each of the said schemes along with the details of the funds allocated and utilized for implementation of various schemes.
According to the Minister’s statement, the States/UTs also plan to deploy around 52 Lakh Distribution Transformer (DT) smart meters and 1.88 Lakh feeder smart meters under RDSS, of which 3,00,487 DT smart meters and 5,229 feeder smart meters will be deployed in Gujarat. The feeder and DT smart metering would help in the automatic and accurate energy accounting for the purpose of identifying high loss areas. Till today, DPRs having total outlay of Rs 1,21,778 crore have been approved for Loss Reduction (LR) works and Rs 1,30,474 Cr have been approved for smart metering works across India, as per the statement.
It was mentioned in the answer that out of total sanction cost under RDSS, Rs 5,897.22 crore have been released since the launch of the scheme upto 06-12-2023 as per the scheme guidelines, of which Rs 308 crore have been released for Gujarat during the last two years and the current year.
According to the answer of the Minister, the RDSS scheme will continue upto FY 2025-26. The target of the scheme is to reduce the AT&C losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% and eliminate the ACS-ARR gaps by 2024-25. This would help in bring financial viability of the DISCOMs and improve the power sector as a whole. The reform measures taken under RDSS along with the other initiatives of this Ministry, has resulted in the AT&C losses of DISCOMs coming down from 22.32% in FY2021 to 16.44% in FY2022. Further, the reduction in AT&C losses have resulted in reduction in the Gap between ACS and ARR which has declined from Rs. 0.69/kWh in FY2021 to Rs. 0.15/kWh in FY2022, as per the Minister’s answer.