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1st Capacity - Building Workshop, Chhattisgarh


Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), in collaboration with Anmol Foundation organised a one-day capacity-building programme on the project "Accelerating clean energy transition by improving stakeholder participation for electricity governance in India" which was held on 18th March 2024 at Hotel Grand Arjun, Raipur.

The programme had speakers  from various capacities such as Mr. Sanjeev Jain, Advisor, Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA), Ms. Sunita Chansoriya, Assistant Professor, Durga College and Mr. Mohan Varlyani, State Environment Coordinator, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).  Thirty  participants from voluntary organizations, commercial establishments, and domestic consumers also participated in the programme. 

Mr. Sanjay Sharma, Director, Anmol Foundation, welcomed the guests and participants. He elaborated on the projects carried out by the Anmol Foundation in Chhattisgarh such as towards improving livelihoods, health and sanitation for the rural population of Chhattisgarh. He emphasized the importance of conducting an electricity-related programme in Raipur, which none of the participants had attended before. He spoke about issues faced by consumers in the electricity sector and discussed various aspects such as electricity bills, tariffs, resolution of problems, and the role of the Electricity Regulatory Commission. 

Mr. Sanjay Sharma, during his speech

G.N. Bharath Ram, Researcher, CAG, highlighted the significance of launching a project in Chhattisgarh. He went on to explain the project's goals, which include enabling greater consumer participation in the electricity sector and enhancing their understanding of electricity governance. Additionally, he discussed the upcoming activities scheduled for the remainder of the year and how these will benefit consumers. 

G.N. Bharath Ram, gave an overview of the project

Mr. Mohan Varlyani appreciated the program, stating that it will be entirely new for consumers in Chhattisgarh. He emphasized that through this program, consumers would gain knowledge about the workings of the electricity sector, and their rights as consumers.  He also extended his support by informing the organisers that the commercial establishment will require similar meetings addressing the grievances and concerns of consumers. 

Mr. Sanjeev Jain, CREDA, gave a brief introduction about the state's electricity sector, comprising the  generation company, distribution company and transmission company. Also, he explained the role of the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited (CSPDCL), which is a distribution company (DISCOM) in Chhattisgarh. He emphasized how CSPDCL  is committed to protecting consumer rights by ensuring that the electricity supply is delivered without any disruptions to households.  He further explained that CSPDCL on its website has provided all the information that is required for consumers. This includes details such as  tariff rates, contact details of the officials, and the address of the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum which are  present on the main page of the website itself. 

Mr. Sanjeev Jain, during his speech

He provided extensive information about how a consumer can calculate their consumption by manually entering the usage (in hours) of electrical appliances installed in the house. Also, he explained the details mentioned in the bill receipt which provide valuable information but that  consumers normally  neglect reading.  He mentioned that consumers can contact customer care to resolve their complaints or they can register a complaint with the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum situated in the regions of Raipur, Bilaspur and Jagdalpur. 

He concluded his speech by explaining the renewable energy systems that a consumer can install at home such as rooftop solar and solar pumps in their farmlands. He further mentioned the solar energy schemes provided by MNRE such as PM KUSUM and PM Solar House and how  participants  could benefit from them. 

Ms. Sunita Chansoriya, during her speech

Ms. Sunita Chansoriya, Assistant Professor, presented to the participants the seminars that their college holds for students on energy-saving and conservation themes. The college administration has also conducted a session on consumer rights that also talked about electricity-related topics. She expressed her willingness to organise similar awareness programmes for college students to acquire knowledge and empowerment on electricity rights and the significance of transitioning to clean energy. 

Mr. Sanjeev Jain, explaining the tariff details

Questions and Answer sessions handled by Mr. Sanjeev Jain:

  1. What to do if the electricity officials do not comply with the standards like not attending fuse-off phone calls, solving the power cut problem and power voltage problems?
    1. Mr.Sanjeev Jain explained that there are specific clauses in the Distribution Standards of Performance Regulation, 2020 which speak about complying with the standards and compensation to the consumers if it is not met. 
  2. How long will it take to transfer from temporary connections to permanent connections?
    1. As per Regulations, the temporary connection should be transferred within 7 days from the date of receipt of the application. 

A participant during the question and answer session


  • Participants felt the electricity sector is complex and confusing for the average consumer, with many technical terms and jargon that are often difficult to understand. The participants who attended the programme for the first time felt that the information was explained in a consumer-friendly manner. 
  • There were a lot of new terms that we had not heard before despite paying the electricity bills on time such as the contract demand, compensation, and standards of perfromance for DISCOMs. 
  • Overall, the participants left feeling more knowledgeable and empowered about the electricity sector. They expressed their appreciation to the organisers of the program for taking the initiative to educate consumers about this important topic.

At the end of the programme, Mr. Sanjay Sharma expressed his sincere gratitude to everyone who attended and highlighted the key takeaways from the programme. He also encouraged the participants to continue engaging in such events and to share their learnings with their peers, so that they could also benefit from the insights gained from the programme.

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