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The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is in for a thorough restructuring and drastic expenditure curbs to steer clear of the looming financial crisis. Instead of burdening the consumers with a tariff hike or opting for a staff retrenchment, rationalisation of expenditure and a realistic reassessment of its present staff deployment pattern to enable a meaningful redeployment would be attempted to clear the accumulated Rs. 7,300 crore debt burden and put the Board back on track.
A source told The Hindu here that precious little could be attained by the KSEB in exploring other business options such as tapping non-conventional energy and popularisation of electric vehicles, among others. Such areas would assume greater importance.
Despite adopting IT enabled services for improving the quality of consumer services, mainly in meter-reading, bill collection and accounting, the deployment of manpower in these and many other areas have not come in for a thorough review. Redeployment of staff to improve efficacy and save expenditure is on the cards.
Resource mopping is another thrust area. The arrears from major private consumers, amounting to Rs. 600 crore remains entangled in litigation. The inordinate delay in disposing cases pending in various courts have eaten into the revenue of the board. Dues of companies that have become defunct have also added to its woes. Conduct of cases need to be streamlined.
Regarding the arrears due from various public utilities, mainly the Rs. 1,200 crore due from the Kerala Water Authority, the sources pointed out the practical difficulties in denying power for pumping water for drinking and other purposes.
The Board could not afford to defer the restructuring to overcome the resource crunch and allied issues that were threatening its existence, the sources said. Meaningful staff redeployment to clear Rs. 7,300 crore debt burden on the cards Rs. 600 cr due from private consumers remains entangled in litigation
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