From Powerless to Powerful Turnaround Story of KESCo

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Selva Kumari J, Collector and District Magistrate, Muzaffarnagar

‘KESCo is working towards ensuring steady supply of power so that Kanpur is able to regain its former glory,’ says Selva Kumari J, Managing Director, Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited (KESCo) in conversation with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN).

What are the challenges you faced in trying to turn around the company?

There were few challenges. The support and acceptance of the team is most important for any initiative to be successful. The resistance to change is very high especially in government sector. Bringing on board the Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited (KESCo) team was the primary challenge. Secondly, the lengthy procedures in government processes which create problems for public.

Power sector faces many challenges. Ensuring 24 hours supply and ensuring quality in delivery of service is a major hurdle. How did u tackle this?

The main challenge in power sector is not the supply or the demand. It is collecting revenue for every single unit of electricity given to public. This is the only factor that will ensure stability in supply of power. As Uttar Pradesh is a energy-deficient state, electricity is purchased and supplied to public. Changing the mindset of people that they have to pay for every unit they use is the biggest test. Once people are on board, then it becomes easier. Due to better performance in revenue collection of KESCo, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has ensured 24 hours supply to Kanpur. Kanpur was once gloriously known as the “Manchester of India.” But due to steady decline in infrastructure over the years, the number of industries have declined and hence the former glory lost. KESCo is working towards ensuring steady supply of power so that Kanpur is able to regain its former glory.

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Selva Kumari J, Managing Director, KESCo, Uttar Pradesh

“QPower is our new initiative to ensure quality of power supply to public. It includes IVRS and push-pull SMS-based outage management system”

Kanpur is not selected in the first list of the smart cities. What is your opinion on the power infrastructure for Kanpur, if and when it gets selected in the smart city list?

Kanpur is not part of the first list of smart cities released. Sooner than later, its turn will come. So KESCo is gearing up in making the basic infrastructure better in the power sector. R-APDRP was not implemented in Kanpur. So Kanpur has not had its share of funds and spending over many years. But with the help of State Government providing funds in the form of business plans and also with coming up of Central Government scheme like IPDS, we are very positive that Kanpur will become a smart city in terms of electricity even before it becomes part of the list.

Can you list some of the new IT and other initiatives that you have started in KESCo?

New real time, GPS-based OCR billing software and new billing application mPower has been launched with cloud servers. New softwares for monitoring of supply position, raids conducted, Trust-based billing, Mapping of consumers, Tatkal system for new connections, digitisation of assets, integrated management system for better grievance redressal and manpower management, financial inclusion planning by including new modes of bill payment and widespread use of social media as tools to connect with people, energy efficient bulbs and fan distribution in collaboration with EESL, use of greener technologies like solar roof top (KESCO has made its own roof and collection centers solar to motivate public to take up solar), usage of greener CNG vehicles, high-tech lab for ensuring quality of goods, etc, to name a few are some of the initiatives launched and under progress at KESCo.

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What are the future plans? 

Our future plans include going in for turn-up based billing. DSM by involving public to more energy efficient use of electricity, energy audit by technical automation like use of SCADA and smart meter technology are planned and are in implementation stage. All these are based on widespread use of IT to bring governance closer to people.

Can you elaborate on QPower?

QPower is our new initiative to ensure quality of power supply to public. It includes IVRS and push pull SMS-based outage management system which also includes grievance redressal and manpower management. For example, it categorises outages as planned and unplanned and in both cases an automatic SMS shoots up to the consumer. In addition to this, consumer can check status of power supply, his billing status and complaint status using IVRS and push and pull SMS-based software QPower. In case of any complaint, automatic instructions are sent to the workmen and teams regarding the location through GPS and disposal is monitored online. The system is so simple that if any consumer feeds consumer number along with code of complaint, categorisation and automatic information is pushed to him/her. Another significant feature is that of Feeder and DT meter monitoring. Since our consumer data is mapped to GPS and coded feeder wise, if there is any feeder overload, an automatic SMS shoots up to the consumer requesting him to shut down unwanted appliance which are wastefully consuming electricity. This approach will involve consumers to participate in energy efficiency and Demand Side Management.

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