Satyendranath Kalita has over 35 years of experience in managing business functions in the power utilities of Assam, the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. Currently, Kalita is working as member (technical), AERC, providing technical inputs and guidelines to the commission.
Over the years, he has held key positions in Assam’s Power Generation Corporation Limited, Assam Electricity Grid Corporation Limited and Assam Power Distribution Company Limited. He was instrumental in streamlining administrative processes and facilitating the introduction of IT capabilities in these companies.
He fondly reminisces about his involvement in the execution and commissioning of the 164 km long double circuit 220 kV transmission line. This transmission line was embroiled in several right-of-way (RoW) controversies and the situation was further complicated by the unwillingness of the contractor to resolve them. The commissioning of this line was delayed indefinitely until the task of completing it was assigned to him. Kalita roped in the local civil and police administration to settle the RoW problems and completed the project by engaging local contractors with guidance from his department.
His experience of working on different assignments provided him the insight that people need to be managed in accordance with the task and the time available. Following a result-based, coaching approach is important, but managing people authoritatively becomes imperative when projects are time-bound. As for the power sector, he strongly believes that it will undergo a dynamic transformation in the coming years. He asserts that an unprecedented scale of changes will impact areas such as demand outlook, consumer mix, energy mix, power quality and transmission network. He says, “To overcome these challenges, India needs to add more installed capacity, expand the transmission and distribution network, improve regulatory monitoring and compliance, introduce an innovative tariff structure and design an appropriate market. But a major thrust needs to be given to human resource development to cope with technological disruption.”
According to Kalita, the AERC is planning to be more vigilant in taking steps to ensure that utilities comply with the commission’s orders and directives. He also specifies that AERC will conduct outreach programmes to improve awareness among consumers about their rights as well as policy incentives.