Mahavitaran to invest Rs 6,000 cr to improve network

MUMBAI: State-run electricity distribution company, Mahavitaran is planning to pump in Rs 6,000 crore over the next three years to strengthen its network. 

"We have embarked on a plan to 
investaround Rs 6,000 crore over next three years to strengthen our distribution network," said Principal Secretary for Energy Ajoy Mehta at the Maha Infra Summit, organised byMaharashtra Economic Council here. 

The state has already spent Rs 5,000 crore during the past five years for the purpose. 

"These funds will be used to provide additional connections and ensure reliable supply across the state, apart from preventing pilferage by installing tamper-proof meters," he added. 

The state utility has two crore consumers under its network, out of which over one crore are low-end consumers with a monthly intake of under 300 units. 

"Currently, we provide 12 lakh connections every year. We want to ensure that we give connections to everyone who seeks one. We also want to guarantee there is no interruption in supply," Mehta said. 

Further, to curb instances of pilferage by tampering meters, the state utility has also embarked on a plan to replace the existing meters with infra-red (IR) and radio frequency (RF) meters. The IR meters would be used in rural areas and RF in urban localities. 

"We want to ensure less human intervention. This automated metering infrastructure system makes meter readers' task easy," Mehta said, adding all meters will be replaced in the next three years. 

He further said the state has signed contracts for power supply till 2019 and is working on a plan for meeting the power needs beyond 2019. 

"We are currently a power surplus state. We have ensured that power reaches to every village, which is why we are strengthening our network. We have already tied-up for our power requirement till 2019. Our plans for beyond 2019 are on the drawing board and we will start working on it soon," Mehta said. 

He said government is pursuing with the central government to make gas available for the 1,967 MW 
Dabhol project which is operated by Ratnagiri Gas & Power. 

"The project is not generating a single unit due to want of gas. We are hoping to get gas from KG-D6 and once we get it, we will be able to re-start generation," Mehta added.