Almost two decades ago, we had the first PPP in the power distribution sector in Delhi. On June 1, a similar PPP model was adopted in Odisha. Tata Power took over the management of Central Electricity State Utility of Odisha, to supply power in Central Odisha region with 51% stake in the newly formed entity—Tata Power Central Odisha Distribution Limited.
TPCODL will serve a populace of 1.36 crore with a customer base of 26 Lakh. Unlike Delhi, the Odisha counterpart is more representative of other national discoms—80% rural consumer mix and a vast geographical spread of 30,000 sq km, almost 60-times larger than our Delhi.
The utility had more than two decades of technological gap. Unfortunately, it lagged technological prowess despite the availability of funds. Here, a parallel can be drawn with the pre-privatisation era of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB).