District panels to oversee Centre-aided power schemes

DECs to be formed in view of revamped distribution sector scheme rollout

District electricity committees (DEC) will now exercise oversight over all Government of India-supported power sector schemes at the district level.

The State government has issued orders constituting DECs in connection with the proposed rollout of the revamped distribution sector scheme (RDSS), a Centrally assisted, ‘reforms-based and results-linked’ programme for fine-tuning electricity distribution, in Kerala.

On a broader canvas, the committees, which will be headed by the senior Member of Parliament in a district, will exercise oversight over all Central schemes and their “’impact on the provision of services to the people”, says the government.

The panels have been constituted in response to a notification issued by the Power Ministry to all States in September. They will meet every three months to assess the progress on all Government of India-supported electricity schemes, quality and reliability of the work, and aspects related to the standards of performance and consumer services.

The other MPs will act as co-chairs while the District Collector is the member secretary of the committee. MLAs, local body chairpersons, senior representatives of power sector CPSUs, and the chief engineer of the Kerala State Electricity Board are the members.

The ₹3-lakh-crore RDSS was cleared by the Union Cabinet in June for improving the efficiency and financial sustainability of State-run distribution companies. Part A of the scheme envisages financial support for upgrading of distribution infrastructure and roll-out of prepaid smart metering, while Part B deals with training and capacity building.

The Centre had announced that various rural and urban power projects under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and the Integrated Power Development Scheme would be subsumed in the RDSS.

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