Alok Gupta, member, Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC), brings to the table close to four decades of policy and regulatory experience in the power sector. He has contributed extensively to the formulation of regulations, electricity codes and performance standards as well as the review of policies, including the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme. He also has expertise in the areas of metering, feeder segregation, deployment of supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and integration of renewable energy, among other things.
Gupta joined MPERC in January 2013. In his current role, he is responsible for finalising tariffs, issuing licences and adjudicating disputes raised to the commission, etc. His key priorities for Madhya Pradesh’s power sector are to promote renewable energy development at remunerative tariffs, to protect consumer interests and to bring the state discoms out of the red.
Prior to joining MPERC, he served as member, hydro, ex-officio additional secretary to the Government of India at the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), wherein he was responsible for the development of hydropower in the country.
An electrical engineer from IIT Roorkee, Gupta also has a management degree in finance. He began his career in the power sector as an assistant director with the CEA.
Commenting on the state of the power sector in the country, Gupta says, “The sector is growing at an accelerated pace under the new government, especially with regard to the promotion of renewables, 24×7 power supply to rural areas, the creation of a smart grid, etc. However, there are some impediments to sector growth. These are the lack of discoms’ own resources, the slow rate of reduction in distribution losses, staffing issues, and challenges in the sale of surplus power.”
Looking back, Gupta recalls his most memorable assignment as working on the metering regulation, which was the first of its kind, at the CEA. He believes in completing work on time and maintains a long-sighted approach. “If one manages time well, then maintaining a work-life balance is not a problem. There is sufficient time always,” he says. Gupta enjoys listening to old Hindi music and likes reading technical literature pertaining to advances in the power sector.