The Odisha government has decided to leverage ICT (information & communications technology) in the power sector to streamline utility services for consumers. The objective is to lower human intervention and align with the Naveen Patnaik government's avowed credo of the 5T model in governance- team work, technology, transparency, transformation and time limit.
“ICT will be deployed on a large scale to improve the quality of services in the power sector. It will apply to services like bill payments, smart meters, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and grievance redressal. Our objective is to ensure minimal human interface in delivery of services. Our efforts are a part of the government's 5T initiative,” Odisha's energy secretary Bishnupada Sethi told reporters in Bhubaneshwar on the sidelines of an energy summit organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci).
Sethi said Odisha pioneered power sector reforms in the country by unbundling the erstwhile Orissa State Electricity Board (OESB). At present, the focus is on tapping technology to provide qualitative power services to consumers. A green energy roadmap is being drawn up, he said.
Odisha is a power surplus state with average power demand hovering around 3500 Mw. Against this demand, 4500 Mw is available.
“We have been able to reduce energy loss significantly by installing smart meters. To ensure stable power supply, we acted on every aspect of supply. We introduced multiple payment avenues like bank, mobile payment and post office,” Sethi added.
Speaking on the occasion, minister for industries & energy Dibya Shankar Mishra said, “We have to improve our infrastructure to reduce losses in electricity supply. We have to supply power to all industrial units in the state so that they don’t have to put up captive power plants (CPP). Odisha has huge resources of bauxite, iron ore and coal, which make it better destination for investment."
Asserting that Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have attained saturation point, Mishra claimed Odisha is currently in a position to deliver maximum value to investors.
"Odisha's aim to become a trillion-dollar economy makes sense. The energy sector can play major role to achieve this goal. Actually, the road to development is energy now,” he added.
Subhrakanta Panda, Chairman of Ficci Odisha State Council, said, “For the past several years, Odisha has been at the forefront in power sector reforms for the past several years. Since the state has become more prone to natural calamities, we have to create robust infrastructure for electricity supply, for which a lot of work needs to be done.”