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Gujarat shines again as Power Hub

Gujarat shines again as Power Hub

3 Discoms awarded for meritorious performance

New Delhi : Gujarat Government's three major power companies are awarded for outstanding performance in the Power Sector for the year 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL) has been awarded Gold Shield for the year 2010-11 and Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation limited (GETCO) has been bestowed the Gold Shield for 2009-10. The Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL) has been awarded the Bronze Shield for the year 2009-10.

The awards were jointly received by V. N. Maira, Chairman & Nityanand Srivastava MD, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL) – Gold Shield for the year 2010-11. Shri S. K. Negi, MD and B.B. Chauhan, Chief Engineer Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation limited (GETCO) received the Gold Shield for 2009-10, and Mukesh Puri, Chairman and A. N. Kharti, MD Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL) were awarded the Bronze Shield for the year 2009-10 from Union Minister for Power Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde here.

It is a remarkable transformation for a state which was power deficient with its Electricity Board saddled with huge loss barely a decade ago, but now has 4,000 MW of surplus electricity to offer to other states and a vibrant energy sector.

Highlighting the achievement of power sector in Gujarat, Shri Mukesh Puri, Chairman of MGVCL said that Gujarat is a power surplus state and Government of India has also acknowledged the unquestioned leadership of the state in power sector. In Gujarat, urban and rural areas including industries as well as all habitations are given 24 X 7 power supply and it is a remarkable, he added.

When Shri Narendra Modi took over as Chief Minister in 2001, he found the state's power situation grim. The Gujarat State Electricity Board, or GSEB, had posted a loss of Rs 2,246 crore for 2000-01. Since then, Shri Modi focused on assured round-the-clock quality power supply to each household for faster socio-economic development. With assured availability of quality power, people are seeking out more opportunities and improving their skills to accelerate their socio-economic development.

The Gujarat experience clearly shows what strong political will to reform the electricity sector can achieve. In May 2003, the Gujarat government passed the Gujarat Electricity Industry (Reform and Reorganization) Act, which divided the GSEB into a holding company, a power generation company, a power transmission company and four distribution companies. This enabled accountability at every level, better management and more efficient operations.

Gujarat was among the best States in the country to unbundle its state electricity Board (SEB) in 2005, which had posted a loss of Rs 737 crore for that fiscal year. GEB had no funds to add generation capacity on its own, nor was it able to persuade the private sector to invest at that time. However, Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi kept “transformation” of the power sector as one of his top priorities. The state has made a profit of Rs 436 crore in 2011-12 by selling its surplus power to other states.

Of the many reforms the State Government ushered in, the separation of feeders for supply towards agricultural use was a master stroke. It not only helped farmers get quality power at fixed time but also ensured that leakages were curtailed. It enabled measurement of the power used for agricultural purposes as well, so as to arrive at the exact quantum of subsidy that needs to be reimbursed to the distribution companies. The scheme launched as part of the Jyotigram Yojna in 2003 to supply round-the-clock power to villages is being adopted by many others states. From agri sector to industries, uninterrupted power supply has paved way for bringing in huge investments to Gujarat, making it growth engine of India. Jyotigram project has been the catalyst for socio-economic and educational revolution and has brought revolutionary change in the lifestyles and economic pattern of rural Gujarat.

It is a matter of pride once again for the power utilities of Gujarat as they have been time and again recognized for the award under comprehensive award scheme ever since its inception in the year 2004-05. All power companies in the State, be it transmission or distribution, are financially viable as compared to other states where power utilities are in red and continue to reel under heavy losses.

In Transmission Sector, Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation limited (GETCO) is awarded gold shield for the early completion of 220/66 Bhat sub-station in the year 2009-10 near Changodar, Ahmedabad.

GETCO completed the project in 18 months against the normal standard time of 24 months. The 220 KV Extra High Voltage sub-station has been a vital power supply pooling sub-station for the industries to avail reliable and quality power supply. The transformer capacity of this sub-station is being enhanced to 300 MVA looking into the load growth of industries.

In Distribution Sector, Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL) and Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL) have been awarded Gold and Bonze Shield respectively under the category “Performance of Distribution Companies”.

Gujarat has been able to achieve the growth with a mix of steps that have both commercial and social overtones, with stress on credible implementation and realizing rational user charges. The political will along with the turnaround strategy has produced the expected benefits.

Once in a shambles in 2001, Gujarat's power sector a decade later has put the state in the forefront that have carried out sweeping power reforms, as a result of which it now has surplus power.

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