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OERC Takes Another Shot At Privatising Debt-Ridden Cesu


Bhubaneswar:19/9/17; With the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), renewing its efforts to privatise Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha (Cesu), substantial debts and arrears of the utility have emerged as biggest roadblocks as well as concerns.

As the OERC issued a notification inviting bids to sell-off debt-ridden Cesu, the Electricity Consumer Association claimed that it as an attempt by the state government to save its face.

“No one is accountable for such huge debts so only the consumers are going to suffer. The state government is intentionally trying to pass on the burden of liabilities to general people and we strongly condemn it,” president of Electricity Consumers’ Association, Ramesh Satpathy said.

It is important to note that earlier, the Central Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Limited (Cesco) managed by American power giant AES, was the power supplier in the central and coastal parts of Odisha. However, after the 1999 super cyclone, AES quit the management of the company. The utility is carrying a debt burden of Rs 2000 crore while outstanding arrears pending from various categories of consumers are to the tune of Rs 1600 crore.

Saddled with huge debt and arrear burden, the OERC has made multiple failed attempts to privatise Cesu since taking it over in 2005.

With OERC taking another shot at privatising Cesu, experts are concerned over how the arrears and debts will be managed and whether it could lead to additional burden on the consumers in terms of hike in power tariff.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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