HomeOthersEngineer’s day, AIPEF and power sector reforms.. .V K Gupta

Engineer’s day, AIPEF and power sector reforms.. .V K Gupta

Engineer’s day, AIPEF and power sector reforms.. .V K Gupta

Kanwar Inder singh/ royalpatiala.in News/ September 15,2023

Every year on September 15 engineers across the country celebrate Engineer’s day as tribute to the Indian engineer and Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Viswesvaraya. The day is observed to commemorate the great work of engineers and to encourage them for improvement and innovation.

The All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), a representative body of all the power engineers working in power utilities across the country, pays glowing tribute to Sir MV. The AIPEF has completed 50 glorious years. It was founded on August 16, 1973, and was the brainchild of Harbans Singh, then Chairman of the PSEB, assisted by RS Verma, a master orator from Himachal Pradesh, Shrikant Mane from Maharashtra, Bhopal Singh and other engineers.

The AIPEF comprises four regional federations. When the AIPEF as a body was formally registered at New Delhi then RS Verma was chairman and Srikant Mane was Secretary General in 1993. In subsequent years Bhopal Singh, UPSEB Chairman, Padamjit Singh and Shailendera Dubey headed the organisation.

The AIPEF is of firm views that electricity in every house can be provided only by public sector companies. Experiment of unbundling the state electricity boards has completely failed in every sense and integrated utility is only the answer in a state.

The AIPEF every year resolves on Engineers day to follow the footsteps of M Visvesvaraya whose 162th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year. M Visvesvaraya undertook many complex projects and delivered remarkable infrastructural results during his career.

The AIPEF will continue to seek professionalization of power utilities for its betterment. The federation is a representative body of all the power engineers working in power utilities under central and state governments in India. This provides a forum for discussion and exchange of views amongst power engineers across the country on various policy matters concerning the power sector. The AIPEF provides feedback to the Union government and State Governments on the effect of various technical, commercial and administrative guidelines formulated by them.

The AIPEF is a professional organization for the improvement of power supply situation in the country and to simultaneously safeguard the interests of the power engineers’ fraternity. In September, 1977 the AIPEF wrote to Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister, cautioning poor planning, poor implementation causing repeated power shortages .The federation sought participation of power engineers in power capacity addition and formulation of VI and VII five year plans.

Engineer’s day, AIPEF and power sector reforms.. .V K Gupta

In 1978, the AIPEF demanded reorganization of the Central Electricity Authority as supreme body. Further state electricity boards chairmen and technical members should be professional experts. De-politicization of the state electricity boards is essential for their independence.

Engineer’s day, AIPEF and power sector reforms.. .V K Gupta said “the power sector reforms with reliance on the private sector for adding generating capacity were started in 1991. The National Working Group on Power prepared many documents and a white paper and submitted them to the central government. During 1996 the World Bank model of reforms that envisaged unbundling and subsequent privatization of state electricity boards.”

The AIPEF opposed the passing of electricity bill 2001 as creation of multiple organisations by splitting state electricity boards as this is against the fundamental principles. In April 2003, the AIPEF wrote to the President of India about the ill effects of Electricity Bill 2003 as this will lead the nation to economic slavery. Power engineers had been opposing the unbundling of state electricity boards and were demanding that the model to be selected for unbundling should be left to the state concerned.

Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 was introduced in Lok Sabha with the concept of separation of carriage and content. The AIPEF submitted a number of representations to oppose the Electricity Amendment Bill 2014. The Bill could not be passed as the term of Lok Sabha expired.

In May 2020 the government decided to privatise the power distribution sector in Union Territories to set a model for adoption of similar reforms initiatives in states. The AIPEF strongly opposed the Union government’s major decision to privatize electricity distribution in the eight Union Territories.

The revised draft to amend Electricity Act 2003 has again been introduced in August 2022 in Lok Sabha , a move to completely privatise the power distribution in the country. The purpose of the amendments is to facilitate multiple players into the distribution sector, reducing Discoms to merely one of the players.

Engineer’s day, AIPEF and power sector reforms.. .V K Gupta said “on Engineers Day, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has once again demanded that the power sector be kept in the public sector in the interest of common consumer.”


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