Franchisee fillip to power network

The chief minister's dream of providing power to every household before the next Assembly polls inched forward with the selection of distribution franchisees in Bhagalpur, Gaya and Muzaffarpur.

Calcutta-based SPML Infra Ltd and Mumbai-based Spanco Ltd have qualified in the financial bidding for selection of distribution franchisee in Bhagalpur and Gaya, respectively.

For Muzaffarpur, Essel Adi Smart Grid Solutions Ltd, has been chosen to take up the transmission work.

"These three firms ' Essel Group (for Muzaffarpur) SPML (for Bhagalpur) and Spanco (for Gaya) ' have qualified in the financial bid, which was opened last Monday. SPML and Spanco were the highest bidders in their respective cities except Essel in Muzaffarpur which was the lone firm in the race for the tender," said a senior official.

The power scenario vis-�-vis distribution is expected to improve in these three cities once the transmission network is handed over to these firms.

The move would also improve supply and maintenance of lines, power sub-stations, transformers and others. The franchisee's job would also entail distributing bills, taking meter readings, revenue collection, maintaining low-tension lines, attending fuse-off calls and others.

Residents of the capital would however, have to wait for better transmission network, as Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd has extended the date for submission of bids for appointment of franchisees, the official said, adding that bids can now be submitted till March 8.

On when the process would be completed, the officer refused to provide details.

"The tariff rates given by the bidders would be analysed. The company would also try to find out whether the rates quoted are in consonance with the holding company's plan," the officer said.

The tender was floated on the basis of tariff rate of 2011-12, whereas the tender would actually be awarded in 2013-14.

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