Deshraju Radhakrishna, Chairman, Tripura Electricity Regulatory Commission (TERC), brings to the table four decades of experience in all domains of the power sector. He has expertise in the areas of supply chain management, project management and regulatory affairs. In the past, he has worked with the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board, handling fuel management for power plants, and Adani Exports Limited, among others. He has also served as adviser to various power users including HPCL, IOC and BPCL.
On the state of the power sector, Radhakrishna says, “In the past 75 years, and particularly in the past 25 years, we have achieved otherwise impossible milestones. Achieving universal household electrification by providing power to the last mile was a distant dream but we achieved it. Today, the main cause of worry is mounting technical and financial losses and consumer expectations that power rates should be competitive and affordable. This can be achieved only by lowering the cost of production and distribution.”
Soon after joining TERC, Radhakrishna started working on the supply of quality power and formulated regulations for this. A noteworthy achievement of TERC is starting a forum to educate consumers on their rights and obligations. Besides, TERC has not increased the retail prices of electricity in the past seven years. In fact, it offers a 5 per cent reduction in tariffs for timely payments.
On the key issues facing the Tripura power sector, Radhakrishna says, “Unlike other states, Tripura has 90 per cent domestic consumers, which poses many challenges. Since the per capita income of Tripura residents is quite low, providing them cheaper power is a big challenge. In addition, Tripura is largely dependent on gas-based power, which is costlier than other fossil fuel-based power. Further, the population density of the state is low and the hilly terrain makes the supply of power costly.” To overcome these challenges, efforts are being made to reduce technical losses and find cheaper sources of power for consumers.
He believes in participative management and in the philosophy of inspiring through knowledge management. He is present to guide the team whenever necessary while encouraging independence. Radhakrishna has studied engineering and law. He also has an MBA. In the future, he would like to write a book that captures his journey to educate and advise young people.