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  • Under ‘Saat Nishchay’ of the state government, indicating its seven basic development commitments, ‘Har Ghar Bijli (supply of power to all households) is the third component.
  • There has been significant improvement in peak demand met in Bihar from 1712 MW in 2011-12 to 4535 MW in 2017-18, implying a growth of around 165 percent in six years.
  • The peak demand has reached a new high of 5139 MW during current financial year in the month of September, 2018.
  • The availability of power has increased from an average of 6-8 hours to 18-20 hours in rural areas and from 10-12 hours to 22-24 hours in urban areas.
  • The per capita consumption in the state has risen from 134 kwh in 2011-12 to 280 kwh in 2017-18, implying a growth of more than 100 percent in six years.
  • The top 3 districts in power consumption were — Patna (4965 MU), Gaya (1522 MU) and Nalanda (1008 MU).
  • 3 bottom most districts were — Sheohar (76 MU), Arwal (135 MU) and Sheikhpura (176 MU).
  • The expected power demand of Bihar by 2020-21 shall be of the order of 6381 MW, with an annual energy requirement of 36894 MU.
  • The power capacity availability in the state was 3889 MW in March, 2018.
  • The total available capacity for Bihar by 2020-21 is expected to be 6411 MW, of which 5053 MW will be conventional and the remaining 1358 MW non-conventional.

Institutional Structure of Power Sector

  • In April, 1958, the Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) was originally constituted under Section 5 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948.
  • Under the new Bihar State Electricity Reforms Transfer Scheme 2012, the BSEB has been unbundled into five companies in November, 2012 —

(i) Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Limited (BSPHCL)

(ii) Bihar State Power Generation Company Limited (BSPGCL)

(iii) Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited (BSPTCL)

(iv) North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) and

(v) South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL)

  • The distribution system in Bihar is being served by two distribution companies — North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL).

Operational and Financial Status

  • During the recent years, the demand for electricity has been increasing continuously in the state, because of the fast economic growth at one hand and the growth of population on the other.
  • This has resulted in high AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) loss, specially due to large scale rural electrification.
  • In 2017-18, it was as high as 30.22 percent. Earlier in 2016-17, it was even higher (40.60 percent).


Programmes for Electrification and Distribution Schemes

  • Three important programmes of the central government for expanding the coverage of electricity supply are —

(1) Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) (Erstwhile Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme — R-APDRP)

(2) Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) (Erstwhile Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana – RGGVY)

(3) Special Plan (Backward Regions Grant Fund).


Village Electrification

  • The scheme of RGGVY, as approved by the central government for implementation during Twelfth and Thirteenth Plans, has now been subsumed in the new scheme of the central government, called Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Vidyut ikaran Yojana (DDUGVY).
  • Bihar, with 88.7 percent of its population living in rural areas (2011 census), remains the most ruralised state in India, the national average being around 68.9 percent.

Har Ghar Bijli under SAUBHAGYA

  • Har Ghar Bijli’ is one of the seven resolves of the Saat Nischay (Seven Resolves) of the state government, with an aim to provide electricity connection to each willing household.
  • As all rural BPL households are covered under DDUGJY and there was no scheme for providing service connection to rural APL households, a scheme has been sanctioned by the state government for releasing new service connection to APL Rural households under Mukhyamantri Vidyut Sambandh Nischay Yojana (MMVSNY).
  • Meanwhile, in October 2017, the Union Ministry of Power had issued a memorandum conveying approval of SAUBHAGYA (Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana) to provide electric connection to each willing household across the country.
  • The state government has adopted SAUBHAGYA and the Mukhyamantri Vidyut Sambandh Nishchay Yojana (MMVSNY) has been subsumed under SAUBHAGYA.

Generation Capacity of Power

  • The total generation capacity of power as on March 2018 for the state was 3889 MW.
  • Out of this —
  1. 81.9 percent is from coal-based thermal power
  2. 12.3 percent from hydro power, and
  3. 5.8 percent from renewable energy sources
  • In terms of ownership, central sector has the largest share of 79.1 percent, followed by the private sector/IPPs (17.8 percent) and state sector (3.1 percent).


Power Projects in Bihar:

  1. Barauni Thermal Power Station (BTPS) : Barauni
  2. Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUNL) : Muzzafarpur
  3. Kosi Hydel Power Station (KHPS) : Birpur
  4. Eastern Gandak Canal HE Project : Valmikinagar, West Champaran
  5. Sone Western Link Canal HE Project : Dehri-on-Sone, Rohtas
  6. Sone Eastern Link Canal HE Project : Barun, Aurangabad
  7. Triveni Link Canal HE Project : West Champaran
  8. Nabinagar Stage-1 Plant : Aurangabad
  9. Ultra Mega Power Project : Banka (approximately 4000 MW)


Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY)

  • The scheme includes various activities for improvement in operational and financial efficiencies which ultimately aims at —

(a) Reduction in AT&C Loss to 15 percent,

(b) Reduction in gap between Average Cost of Supply (ACS) and Average Revenue Realized (ARR) to zero, both by 2019-20.

  • The scheme also provides for taking over 75 percent of the debt of DISCOMs by the state government over 2 years (50 percent in 2015-16 and 25 percent in 2016-17).


Recent Developments in Power Sector

  • Tariff Rationalization : Bihar became the pioneer state in the country to implement ‘Tariff Rationalization’. The tariff order for 2017-18 has been issued on ‘Zero Subsidy’ basis to reflect the true cost of supply.
  • V-Wallet : Revenue collection work has also been outsourced to billing and collection agencies including RRF through V- wallet in all rural areas in the state.
  • Project Monitoring App : For intensive and real time monitoring of different projects going on in the power distribution companies in the state, a Mobile App ‘DC-Nine’ has been developed.
  • Prepaid Metering : For better metering in Patna, prepaid metering has been started in the Vidyut Board Colony which will be extended to other consumers in a phase-wise manner.


Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA)

  • Most of Bihar’s installed generation capacity is concentrated in thermal power plants.
  • This not only leads to a concern about the clean generation of electricity, it also puts a fiscal burden on the state, given that the prices of coal may be very volatile.
  • Thus, aside from promoting hydel power projects, the state government has also created an agency called Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA)
  • The Bihar State Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (BSHPC) was established to oversee expansion of hydroelectric power projects in the state.
  • During the Tenth Plan, BSHPC started exploring possibilities for major hydel projects, besides its earlier mandate for minor hydel projects.
  • There are 13 minor hydel projects that are currently operational in the state, with a total installed capacity of 54.3 MW.

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