GUWAHATI, May 24 � Demands for appointing technical persons in the State power department to improve its performance and for formulating a power policy to bridge the gap between demand and supply, were voiced at the two-day 31st general body meeting of the Association of Engineers, ASEB, which concluded here on Friday.
Participants in the event also voiced their anguish over the growing communication gap between the common power consumers and the power engineers of the State.
Association sources told this newspaper that addressing the seminar on the topic, �Performance of the Power Utility in the Post-Reforms Scenario from the Consumers� Perspective�, Dr Durlav Hazarika, Professor of electrical engineering at the Assam Engineering College, highlighted the challenges, problems and emerging technologies of the power sector.
Engineer JN Khataniar opined that an atmosphere of flexibility and independence is essential for engineers to perform well. But at present, they are deprived of such an atmosphere. He called for steps to post technical personnel in the State�s power department for its better performance.
Engineer Anuj Goswami cited the instance of cancellation of licences of the three Reliance Infra-run power distribution companies in Odisha by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission for their failure to improve performance and efficiency and reduce financial losses. He said this was a lesson for all including government power companies. They are either to perform or perish.
He pointed out that the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) was way ahead of the Odisha DISCOMs in terms of parameters like distribution loss, revenue realisation, metering and energy audit, investment, etc.
Two senior and retired ASEB engineers, Utpal Sarma and Baneswar Khound pointed to a few crucial issues that separated the power engineers and the public.
Engineers, Khanin Talukdar, Tonmoy Mitra, Arindam Nath, Jayanta Saud, Karuna Sarma and Aklantika Saikia presented their views on ongoing projects and responses to grievances of the public.
APDCL MD R L Barua said that the field officers and employees of the APDCL are rendering their services despite heavy odds and difficulties. AEGCL MD Golap Das defined the roadmap of his company in the post-reforms scenario. The chairperson of the seminar, Dr Arup Kumar Misra stated that only an alert and empowered community can help the utilities to perform and flourish.
On the second day, the general body meeting of the Association was held where the new executive body, led by president Nurud Zaman and general secretary Utpal Gohain, took charge.
In the open session, Dr Anup Gogoi, Dean, Outreach Education, IIT-Guwahati, advocated the extensive use of solar power and power from municipal solid waste and reduction of distribution losses to meet the power demand in the State.
AERC Chairman Naba Das gave an overview of the power scenario of the country and the problems and challenges faced by the power sector of the State.
KV Eapen, Chairman APDCL, AEGCL and APGCL, urged the power engineers to rededicate themselves to the noble task of supplying quality power and better service to the people of the State.
Girin Das and Muktananda Sarma, retired engineers of the ASEB, requested the Government of Assam to formulate the power policy of the State to bridge the gap between supply and demand of power.
Engineer Manoj Adhikari, outgoing president of the Association, commented that at present, the State utilities could meet more than 90 per cent power demand by buying power from outside due to growth of revenue from sale of power. The vote of thanks was offered by Nurud Zaman.