TRIPURAINFO

Electrifying Voyage of Power Sector in Tripura

Dr. Murhari S. Kele

Introduction:

It is understood that power supply was firstly introduced in the princely state of Tripura during the Manikya Dynasty in 1937 under the last ruling maharaja of Tripura, Bir Bikram Kishore Manikyaby installation of Diesel Generator near Chandramahal at Agartala for supplying power to the Palace and adjacent important locations. Tripura merged with Indian Union in 1949 and since then, Power sector in Tripura reeled through different phases of reforms. In the year 1952, the then diesel generator based power supply system of Agartala was taken over by the state of Tripura and the process of development/expansion of power sector started in the state. In the year 1960, installation of Diesel power sources at Udaipur, Dharmanagar, Kailashahar and Bogafa was taken up. Subsequently, planning for setting up of Hydro Power Plant at Gumti was also taken up and in 1969, foundation stone for Dam on the river Gumti at Dumbur was laid by the then Prime Minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi with the objective of construction of Hydro Power Generating Station.

Tripura received full state hood on 21st Jan'1972. Power sector was functioning as a part of State PWD and remained as a wing under the PWD up to 1984. Transmission & Distribution network expansion works started for covering growing consumers besides increasing generation capacity. Gumti HEP was commissioned during this period. In 1984 Power Department was created separating power wing from the state PWD with a specific objective of rendering better services to the people of the state. Massive initiative was taken for faster growth & development of state power sector and for expansion of power supply system across the state. Generation capacity was increased by commissioning of Gas Thermal Project at Baramura & Rokhia. The Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited was formed in June'2004 under reforms& restructuring of power sector and started its functioning w.e.f 1st January 2005.

Therefore, the saga of power generation, transmission and distribution continues to be in position as a key to the growth of the state and today we have reached to following position, which shows the growth of generation, peak demand & increase in nos. of consumers in state in last 70 years.

Present position:

Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL) is one of the power surplus State run Public Utility, which is having its own generation installed capacity of 115 MW & also tied up with central sector generating stations for 457 MW. Peak time load requirement of state is 320 MW. TSECL is the only power utility in India which is exporting 160 MW power to Bangladesh, 30 MW to Nepal, selling power to adjacent States like Manipur & Mizoram & also balance power is traded through power exchanges with the help of Power Trading Company (PTC) & NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN). TSECL has EHV network of 980 Ckt-KM which is capable of transmitting 893 MVA capacity through 13 Nos of 132 kV Substations & 11 Nos of 66kV level substations. Distribution sector consists of 50 Nos of 33/11kV Substations with 437 MVA transformation capacity, which are fed by more than 900 Ckt-kM 33kV lines. Thereafter, 33kV level is step down to 11kV level having its length of 18,000 Ckt-KM, on which 15,500 Nos. of Distribution Transformers having capacity of more than 1004 MVA are installed, which is further step down with LT lines of 415 V having its length of 29,400 Ckt-KM. These entireinfrastructuresare being used to connect 8.24 Lakhs consumers which are lighting up lives of 37 Lakhs people of Tripura State by 4000 employees of TSECL. Operation of entire power supply system in 24x7 is managed through the State Load Despatch Centre in coordination with the NE Regional Load Despatch Centre.

 

Strategy: Transforming Tripura in to a Model Power Supply State

For making any state as a model state, huge investment is required to develop basic infrastructure.  Government of Tripura has decided to transform Tripura into a Model Power Supply State, accordingly TSECL has decided strategy to have forward changes in G-T-D chain. In major initiative forCapacity Augmentation with renovation & modernisation of State Own Generation from 63 MW to 120 MW & for creating modern & robust infrastructure in TSECL, Smart Metering, Renovation & Modernisation of System by using coated conductor, Aerial bunched conductor, Autoreclosurs & Sectionalisers, EFPI etc. we had got approval for externally aided fund of Rs.1925Crores from Asian Development Bank (ADB). Work will be completed in three years.In transmission sector, with the help of World Bank (NERPSIP) work of Rs.1372Crores PGCIL is working for System Strengthing by erecting 9 Nos of 132 kV substations & 34 Nos of 33/11kV substations along with the EHV link lines along with upgradation of EHV Network with the help of World Bank & other schemes. Also, recently we got fund of Rs.171Crores for upgradation of Surjyamaninagar EHV substation from 132kV to 400kV substation which will be helpful for Strengthing power supply in state of Tripura. Moreover, in Distribution sector various types of schemes of DDUGJY, IPDS & SAUBHAGYA more than Rs.1000 Crores are in progress. Apart from this ADB funded projects in Distribution & Generation had pick up speed for DPR preparation, tendering, etc. As on date infrastructure development projects like RE-DDUGJY, DDUGJY, SAUBHAGYA etc schemes in rural electrification & schemes like RAPDRP & IPDS are executed in urban area for infrastructure Strengthing. Smart metering, prepaid metering will also implemented in big manner for reduction of commercial losses.

 

Challenges:

Tripura has over 60% of its total geographical area under forest cover with varying density and equal measure of rivers crisscrossing the valleys between two adjacent hill ranges dotted with tribal hamlets. Besides, geographically difficult & hilly terrain, Stormy weather, Lightening & soft soil etc are also challenges for network expansion& maintaining lines for providing access to electricity to remote village dwellers. Quite old and weak (30 to 35 years old) distribution network particularly 11 KV, LT Line having extremely long overhead LT lines with aged bare conductors is critical for providing 24x7 quality and reliable power supply to the consumers of the state. Existing old & less efficient Open Cycle Gas Turbine Units and oldest derated capacity of Hydro Electric Generating station of the state i.e. Gumti Hydro Electric Power station (3x5 MW) which was commissioned in the Year 1976. Predominantly domestic category-based consumer base of the state (as high as 88% of the total consumers), very little industrial consumer (about 1% of total connected load resulting less per capita consumption. No local manufacturers and transportation issue for bringing materials from outside the state. Lack of good/resourceful & capable agencies to execute projects like DDUGJY, Saubhagya, IPDS, etc. Employee mix and less awareness in employees & consumers in state is one of the obstacles in progress.

 

Darkness: What Ails TSECL? Quo Vadis TSECL?

These types of headlines were published in local English newspaper of Agartala in Tripura State duringlast year due to interruptions & breakdowns of electric lines due to mismanagement of existing infrastructure & three 'M' factors i.e. Men, Material & Money.  We have taken such news positively & created alert at all levels of TSECL employees. It has increased speed of work & services towards consumers.  Electricity is an essential commodity that is required for the routine life. Power cut off is a serious issue & it was need of hour to resolve immediately. Value chain of Power Sector consists of is Generation, Transmission, Distribution, Trading, Energy Conservation & effective utilization of electricity by Consumers are of considerable important factors that plays a vital role in the Progress of a State.  Now various initiatives are being taken by TSECL for providing better services to consumers. Also huge infrastructure will be developed by investing money in State. Workforce Strengthing & capacity building programs are taken in hand.

 

Initiatives taken by TSECL

During last one year, we have taken various steps for turnaround TSECL. Apart from attracting new investments for Rs.2200 Crores in Generation, Transmission & Distribution by ADB &MoDONER new proposals for system Strengthing with standard method of construction, Reactive Power management, Rollout plan for smart & prepaid metering, etc. Various reforms are being made in Power procurements/Trading like Demand side management, merit order dispatch, Optimisation of power procurement, Sale of power to Nepal was introduced, apart from existing Inter-state, Intra-state, Exchanges. Filing of Tariff petition for truing up business of TSECL is in progress. For early execution of Projects Implementation, transparent & online competitive bidding process is adopted, billing process is streamlined, powers are sub-delegated to field offices, assurance of Quality & Quantity measurements, testing of material & Cross checking, Fast Movement of files, etc is being done for effective implementation of projects, 

As a part of smart initiatives National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) has implemented pilot project of 43000 Smart Meters in Agartala city having features of online billing & remote disconnection & connection has been made operational. Now recently we have started process of tendering process of 100000 meters in Agartala city. Apart from that, we are going to install near about 300000 prepaid metersduring state of Tripura in first phase which will bring up operational & commercial efficiency. Introduction of Input based Power Distribution Franchisee in 5 Divisions whose loss is more than 40%. (i.e. Mohanpur, Sabroom, Ambassa, Manu & Kailashahar) under TSECL as PPP Model, Establishment of Smart Customer Care Call Canter for maintaining 24x7 power supply to consumers, Initiative to reach 'TSECL AT YOUR DOORSTEP' Guardians are appointed for each Districts, IT initiatives: Integration of both billing systems, communications with consumers with social media like Face book, Twitter, WhatsApp group etc, Awareness of consumers regarding On line payment avenues, use of HDFC POS machines, etc., Energy Conservation program- Ujala, electrification of 100 Nos of schools, energy audit of 17 Nos of Govt. buildings & introduction of ECBC code in state as a part of green buildings initiative and introduction of Electric Motor Vehicles Charging Stations.

For bringing professionalism & as a part of Capacity Building in TSECL, we have started Training centre at Surajmaninagar, & started drafting various policies like Service rules, Recruitment rules, Procurement Policy, Transfer policies, SoR/ Cost data preparation, etc. Previously, TSECL was not having Human Resource (HR) department, Vigilance Department, IT Department, we have created those departments & recruitment for these departments is also in progress. As electricity business was run by state, so there is mix of employees' form power department & from recruited by TSECL. Transfer of posts from power dept to TSECL was big task which is almost completed. Recruitment of qualified engineers & deployment of ITI based qualified skilled line staff through outsourcing is in progress. At first stage more than 250 man power will be engaged & this process will be in progress as per requirement. To boost up moral of employees' various steps are being taken by TSECL management.

As a part of cost cutting, we have initiated special measures like CUG callers through corporate plan of BSNL to employees, analysis & critical evaluation of tenders for higher price bids & change in material testing procedures, control on unnecessary tours of officials, etc. Previously TSECL was paying huge penalty & surcharges as against the payment of Generators & Gas suppliers, but now after planning resources, we are paying bills before due date & earning crores of rupees as rebate.

 

Snapshot of AT&C Loss Reduction:

One of the key performance indicators for any utility is AT&C loss reduction. As per Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), Ministry of Power has given target to each state for various parameters including AT&C loss reduction. TSECL is continuously achieving this important target, which is very important for any state. Following table shows figures of last six years performance of TSECL.

Achievements & Recognitions:

As per study of Forum of Regulators, Tripura was placed at last rank in the sequence of eight North Eastern states & also TSECL was placed in category 'C' in national ranking agency by PFC of Ministry of Power, Govt.of India. But we have started to look into it seriously. We have made a short term, medium term & long-term planning for changing this picture of TSECL.  As a part of turnaround plan of TSECL, we have participated in various competitions & bagged four awards in various activities. Viz. First Award in State Drama Competition, then Ministry of Power Award for '100% HH Electrification under SAUBHAGYA', thereafter Award of 'Best Smart Grid Project in India by Utility' in the category of Diamond for Smart Grid Pilot Project from India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), thereafter we received "Skoch Award" for best Power Utility. Overall result of all these efforts we have improved our working & Ministry of Power (GoI) & Power Finance Corporation has upgraded national category ranking of TSECL from 'C' to Category 'B'. Now we will try to achieve category 'A' in this year. This was made possible only in one year due to support from Government of Tripura, Power Department & combine efforts of all Engineers & employees of TSECL & agencies & various stakeholders of TSECL.

 

TSECL is celebrating 16th Operational Day on 1st January, 2020:

As a part of program of 'Turnaround of TSECL' we have taken many steps during last one year viz. Fund tie-upfor Rs. 2100 Crores from ADB &MDoNER in record less time, Starting of training centre in Surajmaninagar for capacity building of employees, Program like 'TSECL at your Doorste' for consumers, employees & agencies working for them, Upgradation of employees with CDC, encouragement of employees by issuing appreciation letters, increasing rates of billing agencies, sub delegation of powers, making various policies, recruitment & deployment of manpower of various category, etc.

In continuation with this & to motivate work force, we have organised grand program of celebration of 16thOperational Day program of TSECL on 1st January,2020. It will start by Flag hosting of TSECL, thereafter rally of TSECL employees along with their family members & consumers of TSECL wearing Caps having logo of TSECL & more than 100 play cards in the hands of employees. Blood donation camp for employees of TSECL will also be organised. Thereafter, motivational program of Power Experts & Motivational Speakers will be there for all employees of TSECL. Two nos of Street dramas will also be there on Energy Conservation, Safety from electrical accidents, Theft of Energy, outstanding bill payment, etc.  Inter circle sports competition was also organised throughout state. In the evening, cultural program with participation of TSECL employees & local artists will be organised. In this program one Calendar will be published on TSECL activities, Certificates of Merit will be issued to winners in Sports, debate Competition, Cultural activities etc. Our Hon'ble Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Jishnu Dev Varma &Plasmasphere Awardee Mr. Thanga Darlong & Arjun Awardee Gymnast Shri. Mantu Debnath will grace function.

 

Way Forward:

After implementation of the schemes prepared within next 3 to 5 years, it is expected that the state power supply system will see a paradigm shift in providing 24x7 reliable and quality power supply to all the households in the state including a financially viable power utility. TSECL will become Smart Utility by implementation projects like Smart Grid, Smart Metering, Prepaid metering, ERP, SCADA, ADMS, etc. We will make TSECL a modern utility by implementation of ADB funding in GIS substations, Reactive power management, Use of Autoreclosurs & Sectionalisers, Earth Fault Passage Indicators (EFPS), etc. In future one testing laboratory needs to be set up for testing of material like Transformers, Conductors, cables, Meters, Poles, etc. With such efforts we are confident to achieve & upgrade Tripura State as category 'A' state.



Dr. Murhari S. Kele
Managing Director,
Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited.
Email: mskele1966@gmail.com
Mobile No: +91-7208066000
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