Monday, June 14, 2004

Power: Sucheta Dalal on problems with privatising power distribution

There is a very good article by Sucheta Dalal in The Financial Express.

Recounting the experience in USA where unscrupulous power distribution companies (starting with Enron, but not restricted to only them), she shows how these companies manipulated the power distribution and raken in excess cash from poor, unsuspecting people.

She also shows some problems in Mumbai where the power distribution is managed by Reliance Energy and Tata Power.

As of now, power distribution is in private hands only in Mumbai and has just recently been introduced in Delhi. Reports indicate that things have considerably improved in Delhi, though there have been several complaints as well in terms of billing discrepancies and collection methods as well as dealing with complaints.

A very strong regulator is required to manage the prices when private power distribution companies come into the picture. More competition would/should help in keeping off illegal operation by power distributors as in the case of USA.

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