In association with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a German Development Agency, CUTS Centre for Consumer Action Research & Training (CART) has launched a three-year project, titled `Involvement of Consumers in Power Sector Reforms in Rajasthan’.
Project Background & Objectives
The project is aimed to generate awareness and sensitise all stakeholders and end users on the power reform process, with the intent of ensuring their active involvement and participation in the process.
The project would also aim at exploring the possibilities of collective participation in the power distribution and generation process through setting up of co-operative societies, for distribution; co-operative generating stations using bio-mass or other alternative energy sources etc.
The Broad immediate objectives of the programme are
- Consumers, especially the rural consumers are sufficiently educated about their rights
- There is a greater involvement of consumers – who would be more vocal and participatory in their approach
- Consumers have a greater awareness of the positives and benefits of reforms and their role to make the reforms achieve what it is meant to do.
- Increased awareness of alternate energy source
- Greater degree of sensitivity vis-à-vis the consumers from the eyes of the utility providers, regulators and other stake holders
- Understanding by the utility providers, regulators and others that reforms does not mean unbundling & privatisation, but it means improvement in quality of service – quantity and quality. Unbundling and privatisation are only means to the end.
- Sensitised government machinery at the state, district and block levels, resulting in greater involvement of public in the governance process.
- Greater involvement of political leaders at all levels in the reform process – some degree of unanimity that reforms does not just mean unbundling and privatisation but improvement in quality of services, and they all work in unison to achieve this.
- The broad long term objectives include:
- Improvement in power supply (deficit) & increased use of alternate energy source such as renewable energy etc.
- Community involvement and participation in power distribution, collection of dues etc.
- Drastic reduction in power theft
- Improvement in quality of services
- Greater level of electrification, especially rural electrification, either through grid or through alternate energy source
The Launch/Design workshop brought energy experts, utility providers, representatives of government, consumers organisations, media, polity, and the common consumers under one roof to chalk out the agenda for the three years of the project.
The outcome of the launch/design workshop would be in the form of a road map for the joint project for the next three year.