May 21, 2005, Hindustan Times

On The Anvil

CUTS-FES to organize second phase of the ‘involvement of Consumers in powersector reforms project

The objective is to facilitate active involvement of the consumers in the power reforms

The World Bank identified this project as a model for wider dissemination

With a view to facilitate their effective participation in electricity regulation through building capacity on evolving issues in the power sector and to enhance the consumer voice, the Consumer Unity and Trust (CUTS) will organize a State-level orientation workshop from May 26.

The workshop will be a part of the second phase of involvement of Consumers in Power Sector Reforms Project. The workshop aims at imparting required skills to representatives of Consumer organisations.

CUTS and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) have jointly conceptualized and initiated this programme in the State in August 2001. in the project’s first phase, CUTS worked in six districts on pilot basis with the support of FES. The major objective of the programme among others, is to facilitate active involvement of consumers in the power sector reforms.

Delegates from various consumer groups from across the State and stakeholder groups such as Energy Department, Electricity Distribution Companies, Rjasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission) among others will take part in the workshop to be held at the Harish Chandra Mathur-Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration (HCM-RIPA).

Through the first phase, the effectiveness of the approach was tested on the ground. The second phase is as a result of the successful implementation and evaluation of the first phase with the involvement of all the stakeholders in the State. In the second phase of a series of activities will conducted across the State.

Based upon the feedback received from the programme, a replicable and sustainable model was developed, known as ‘CUTS-FES Model in the power Sector’. Lat year, the World Bank, under its Voice and Client Power Programme (VCPP), had identified this model as one of the successful interventions, and researched and documented the model for wider dissemination, a CUTS official said.