'BESCOM provides poorest services'

Says an IIM-Bangalore survey; it also charges the most from consumers as compared to Delhi and AP utilities

Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) provides the 'poorest services and charges the most for the same' as compared to its Delhi and Andhra Pradesh cousins, an IIM-Bangalore study has revealed. BESCOM, however, has contested the claims and questioned the authenticity of the report.

A team of five IIM-B students recently presented a study to benchmark BESCOM along with two other distribution companies North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) and Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Limited (APCPDCL).
The IIM-B students evaluated performances of all the three utilities from 2007 to 2010. The report goes on to reveal that even though BESCOM, in comparison to other utilities, buys power at a lower cost, its electricity tariff was the highest.

For the year 2009-10, the average power cost for BESCOM was Rs 2.80 per unit, while it was Rs 3.40 for APCPDCL and Rs 3.70 for NDPL, respectively.

Despite this, an average household using less than 200 units in Bangalore has to shell out Rs 3.51 per unit, while those in Andhra Pradesh pay Rs 2.59. In Delhi, a household using less than 200 units spends Rs 2.45 per unit.

The study further said that Bangaloreans were paying the price for 'BESCOM's operational inefficiencies'.
It was also revealed among the three utilities, BESCOM has the least maintenance expenditure of Rs 32.10 crore. APSPDCL and NDPL spend Rs 63.3 crore and Rs 60.9 crore, respectively, annually.
"BESCOM's maintenance expenditure is the lowest among all utilities in the country. The poor maintenance of plant and machinery by BESCOM, however, will later shoot up its expenditure," the study stated.

The team of five students Karthikeyan S, Nikhil Chander, Prabhakar A K, Ravi Kumar and Vaishnavi G have also presented their study to BESCOM recently.

The students made their assessment through the annual performance reports of the three utilities and based on that, the conclusions were made. The study has recommended that BESCOM go ahead and carry out
external audits to further understand the ground reality at the earliest.

City utility is dearest
BESCOM charges Rs 3.51 per unit of power
NDPL, Delhi, charges Rs 2.45 for a unit of power
Andhra Pradesh Central Power distribution company Limited asks for Rs 2.59 per unit

The other side
BESCOM has raised questions about the credibility of the report. "The study is a part of project work by a few IIM-B students and it can't be considered an authentic report. But I have met the students and suggested them to make a comparison of Bangalore city with NDPL as then we are sure to fare better than NDPL," said P Manivannan, MD, BESCOM.

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