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Maharashtra government will conduct a special audit of its three power companies and ensure that transmission and distribution losses are checked so that consumers do not have to bear the burden of high tariff.
Replying to a debate in the Legislative Assembly on power situation in the state, Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the total debt of Mahagenco, Mahatransco and Mahadiscom stood at Rs 55,058 crore.
"We will conduct a special audit of these generation, transmission and distribution companies and prepare a milestone chart to complete the projects on time while work orders with high rates would be scrapped," he said.
On allegations of corruption in the power companies and Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil's demand for a CBI probe, the Minister said he would seek details in this regard and take action accordingly.
Due to shortage of coal in last two years, projects worth 1,805 MW have been shut down, while private projects worth 1,506 MW, including the Ratnagiri power project at Dabhol, are non-functional due to failure of execution of the power purchase agreement (PPA), Bawankule said.
"We will discuss with Mahagenco and NTPC how to revive these projects. Similarly, a scheme is being prepared to set up sewage water treatment plants to supply water to the power projects," he said.
In order to tackle transmission and distribution losses, pre-paid meters would be installed and efforts would be made to bring losses to 15-16 per cent by 2015-16, he said.
There are 12,000 villages with no feeder connection and which experience heavy load-shedding.
"We will take up feeder separation programme and a proposal has been sent to the Centre for financial assistance.
Similarly in the second phase, over 14,000 villages with single feeder would be taken up," Bawankule said.
The Minister said a new scheme would be announced wherein financial assistance would be provided for damage of electrification system due to natural calamities.
There are around 1,500 villages where water supply schemes have stopped because of non-payment of electricity dues.
"A district-level agency would be set up for proper billing and reading of meters. Similarly, if gram panchayats want, bill connection centres would be set up in the gram panchayat offices," he said.
Bawankule said there is backlog of five lakh agriculture pumps in Marathwada and Vidarbha.
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