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GRIDCO Stares At Deficit

While Novel Corona Virus Pandemic has hit Power Sector badly, GRIDCO, the Transmission Major of the State is in dire straits due to huge deficit it is now facing.

According to official estimates the total deficit of GRIDCO will be around Rs.10, 000 Crore and unless the State Government comes to its rescue, situation is likely to turn grave, experts feel.

While GRIDCO filed Annual Rate of Return (ARR) of Rs.10, 747.50 Crore with a Bulk Supply Purchase (BSP) of Rs.381.29 Paise, the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) allowed BSP of Rs.270.47 as per previous year with ARR of Rs.7623.84 Crore, leaving a huge gap.

It may be noted actual sale by drawl of DISCOMs was 24000 Million Units(MU) as against 28,187.37 MU.

So deficit will increase to a big extent and it is not sustainable, experts point out.

On the other hand situation is worse at DISCOMs level. The Commercial and Industrial Units, which pay higher tariff, are almost closed down due to lockdown. So their use of power has gone down drastically.

Officials admit DISCOM’s consumption and drawal from GRIDCO has reduced by 20 Percent.

The losses in DISCOMs level have increased by 5 percent, making it 35 Percent during COVID-19 Pandemic, experts say.

However OERC has allowed a loss level 22 Percent against actual estimate, they point out.

Collections at DISCOMs level have drastically gone down. Take for example, CESU’s average monthly collection was Rs.255 Crore, and in April, it has clocked Rs.100 Crore.

CESU has tried its best to collect revenue through cash counters and online services, but social distancing norms and other issues hampering the collection.

Similar is cases of NESCO, SOUTHCO, and WESCO as power demand has gone down and collection of dues has nosedived.

Now DISCOMs are pleading for Escrow Relaxation as these Power Distributors are not in a position to pay regular monthly dues to GRIDCO.

GRIDCO, on the other hand is making advance payment to the Power Generators like Independent Power Producers (IPP), NTPC, despite Lockdown.

GRIDCO is to pay generators, and others to ensure uninterrupted power supply so that DISCOMs will be able to provide power to consumers.

Non Payment to generators will cause serious threat for power supply to the State.

While lockdown has thrown the system out of gear, neither OERC nor Government of India, have granted relaxation for waiver or deferment of electricity dues, admit officials.

Besides, Late Payment Surcharge (LPSC) is also levied for delayed payment by GENCOs for this lockdown period.

GRIDCO has an average deficit of Rs.300 Crore Per Month, which amounts to Rs.3600 Crore per Annum.

This deficit is not passed to DISCOMs so that they will not pass it to the consumers in turn.

Another Rs.5375 Crore is also needed to pay the outstanding dues of generators towards power procurement. 

Unless the State Government supports the Bulk Power Supplier of the State, situation will turn chaotic and ensuring 24x7 power supply will be jeopardized.
 


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