It is a well-known fact that karnataka has been the first state to generate, transmit & distribute electricity to the consumers from the early part of the 20th Century while under the British rule. As we had plenty of river water resources Karnataka was the pioneer in hydel generation.
Soon after independence, the Govt. Electrical department came into being. There after the same was unbundled into Mysore State Electricity Board to look after transmission & distribution of electricity and the generation by Hydro Electric Construction Projects (HECP) in the late fifties of the 20th Century.
In the mid seventies Mysore State Electricity Board was renamed as Karnataka Electricity Board (KEB) and HECP was converted into Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd.
During 1999 the Govt. of Karnataka passed the Karnataka Electricity Reforms act by reorganizing KEB into Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) & Vishweswaraiah Vidyut Nigama Limited (VVNL). A regulatory Commission namely Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) was set up to ensure measures conductive to development of electricity industry, promoting competition therein, protecting interest of consumers and supply of electricity to all areas, rationalisation of electricity tariff, ensuring transparent policies regarding subsidies, promotion of efficient and environmentally benign policies. Karnataka is one of the few states to take up the above said power sector reforms. All the above measures were taken to improve the poor financial condition of the state owned power utility, to overcome shortage and to ensure reliable and quality power to the consumers.
During the middle part of 2002, KPTCL was again unbundled into KPTCL and 4 ESCOMs. Thereby KPTCL to look after transmission of electricity and 4 distribution Companies namely Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM), Hubli Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM) and Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) to take care of the distribution of electricity. These are independent distribution companies & they all commenced their business from 01-06-2002.
MESCOM came into being covering 9 districts namely Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga, Chickmagalur, Madikeri, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Hassan. The company had only one operating zone at Mangalore covering the whole area. This was again divided into 2 operating zones namely Mangalore Zone retaining Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga & Chickmagalur districts and Mysore Zone with the remaining 5 districts.
MESCOM was further bifurcated into 2 companies namely MESCOM & CESCO during March'05. After bifurcation MESCOM retained the O&M Mangalore Zone covering 5 districts namely Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga, Chickmagalur and Madikeri with an area of 30,324 sq.Kms & with a population of 63.30 lakhs. The O&M Mysore zone was allotted to CESCO covering the remaining 4 districts with an area of 23,682 sq.Kms. and with a population of 70.92 lakhs.Mangalore zone comprised of two O&M circles namely Mangalore and Shimoga having 4 and 3 O&M divisions respectively under their control.
The staff pattern in the O&M zone, circle, division & its lower officers has been the same as before the formation of ESCOM's except for a new Corporate Office at Mangalore. The total staff existing in MESCOM including all officers & workmen is 3484 Nos. as against the sanctioned posts of 6942 Nos.
The ESCOMs formed as part of reforms and restructuring programme, are distinctly independent organizations vested with distinct responsibilities. These companies are to work in tandem with the other organizations like KPTCL (Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited), VVNL (Vishweswaraiah Vidyut Nigama Limited), KPCL (Karnataka Power Corporation Limited), KREDL (Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited) & the Electrical inspectorate exhibiting high sense of mutual co-operation and co-ordination to achieve overall improvement in the sector so that the sector becomes a net contributor to the state finances. All the above-mentioned companies / organizations are fully owned independent government companies who work under their Memorandum & articles of assocation, licenses, orders, directions issued by the Regulator namely KERC and the State Government.