Column : Déjà vu in the power sector
OK, this is not entirely truthful. The underlined words are fibs; they should actually read “2001” and “Central Public Sector Units (CPSUs)”. But they also underline the Groundhog Day moment for India’s power sector in 2012.
Even more bizarre, in a Twilight Zone sort of throwback to days current readers will not have the slightest idea about, the last time there was a major grid failure was January 2001, in the same Northern Grid. There was a huge furore then, with lengthy reports analysing the causes, resulting in formulation and refinements of the Electricity Grid Code and deterrent pricing using innovative pricing like “Unscheduled Interchange” charges. Skip to 2012, with another grid collapse—arising more or less out of the same grid indiscipline—and the institution of a more or less similar restructuring package to bail out pretty much bankrupt power distribution utilities.
Disconcertingly, both phenomena—grid indiscipline and discoms operational losses—arise of the same underlying problem: the lack of commercial orientation in electricity operations. This is a complex area, which needs to be explored over a series of articles. Consider the latter problem
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