Satyendranath Kalita: Member (Technical), Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission

Member (Technical), Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission

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.