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rajasthan: Rajasthan: New energy secretary faces tough task of reducing power tariffs | Jaipur News

JAIPUR: ACS Subodh Agarwal takes charge of energy department at a time when coal crisis was averted temporarily. The performance of the department has a direct impact on crores of people in the state. Today, consumers are paying a high price as discoms hurtle deeper into indebtedness.
In Rajasthan, people pay one of the highest tariffs in the country for electricity. In the lack of political will to reform the sector, the bureaucracy always finds a comfort zone to run the affairs in a lackadaisical routine.
Can Agarwal change the old template and provide relief to the common man by bringing down unmanageable transmission and distribution losses, finding cheaper source of coal, retiring high cost power plants and scrapping costlier power purchase agreements with NTPC and others?
Agarwal is also heading the mines department under which the state PSU Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd (RSMML) is engaged in exploration and mining. Politicians always blame coal sourced from eastern part of the country for high cost of power in the state.
But experts said that why RSMML is not preferred for development and operation of coal mines allotted to Rajasthan and why private companies like Adani was given tenders. With RSMML, the coal costs could have been lower, they opine.
Similarly, technical and commercial (T&C) losses of Rajasthan discoms are again one of the highest in the country. Rajasthan loses 24.32% of energy of every unit compared to the national average of 21.89% as per UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) data. Some of the losses can be saved with right policies and monitoring.
Thirdly, power purchase costs can be reduced if the government keeps politics away and approves a proposal submitted by Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd to retire two aging units of the Kota Thermal Power station generating 220 MW. They consume 400 more kilo calories to produce one unit of power because of old techniques.
High cost power purchase agreements with NTPC units also need to be scrapped to further bring down the cost of power purchase.
Agarwal is heading another import department and the challenges there are also multiple. In a short span of six months, he has taken some key initiatives to curb illegal mining. But the menace still remains entrenched. Industry representatives said only through right technological intervention, illegal mining can be minimized.
Exploration of new mines too needs a vigorous push. While Agarwal has recently created Rajasthan State Mineral Exploration to expedite work on the front, only future will tell how the initiative yields results.

Read More: rajasthan: Rajasthan: New energy secretary faces tough task of reducing power tariffs | Jaipur News

2021-09-19 23:13:00

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