Energy management

Updated: Jul 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Prime Minister has said he wants a new management system to deal with transmission and distribution (T&D) losses in electricity. Speaking at a renewable energy conclave in Delhi, Manmohan Singh noted that T&D losses are as high as 40-50% in several parts of the country and the new management system will have to deal with this harsh reality. What the PM omitted to mention is that any new systems in this regard are his own responsibility: it raises the counter-question of what is it that hes waiting for Orissa was the first state to privatise electricity distribution; both the companies who took the job have since retreated, saying they were getting little cooperation from police or government in enforcing the laws on power theft.

When managers arent allowed to manage, is the solution to call for more sophistication in theory Manmohan Singhs government has recently pushed through Parliamentwrong phrase, the political class was uniteda law which gives municipal agencies in the capital city, Delhi, a years leave from enforcing the law on unauthorised construction. They say its needed because it is impossible to go by the rule and they need a year to formally regularise what is now illegal. Was the problem one of deficiency in theory, in instruments or of gagged management And just who, as this is entirely about government systems, is supposed to set this right

The PM, in his speech at the conclave, used the word haemorrhage in describing T&D losses. But this is hardly news, is it What would make news is if governments resolve doing something to address the root causes, which are again widely documented. This is conspicuously missing in the PMs address; if he had something in mind, he chose not to share it. Whatever the solution, it can hardly be something startling as far as known systems go. It is on par with his other set of remarks at the conclave, on pricing of energyWe need to factor in the economic cost and the environment cost of alternative sources of energy while setting our prices. Sure. Why dont you