Trying to cope with increasing demand for power in Noida and Ghaziabad, the Uttar Pradesh government is exploring the possibility of introducing differential power tariffs for domestic electricity consumers of these two NCR towns. The idea is to ensure round-the-clock power supply to high-rises and housing societies at a rate higher than the prevalent one.
Avanish Awasthi, chairman-cum-managing director of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) told Hindustan Times on Tuesday, “We have received demands for uninterrupted power supply from some resident welfare associations (RWAs) in Ghaziabad. They’re willing to pay more. We’re definitely trying to know the feasibility of the proposal. We need to take all stakeholders on board before the model could be adopted.”
“We must accept there’s a problem in Noida and Ghaziabad as well as other cities in the NCR. People suffer a lot when in high-rise buildings, lifts don’t work and water supply is disrupted due to inadequate power supply,” he said.
He, however, said the plan was “at an initial stage” and admitted the UPPCL was already facing protests. “Today, some Noida residents called me. They don’t want any hike. Others do. We need to see how we can deal with the problem of outages. Local distribution channels also need to be spruced up,” Awasthi said.
Sources in the government said the proposal, if found feasible, might be sent to the UP electricity regulatory commission for consideration.
And it’s not only about round-the-clock power supply. “The idea is to have a situation where people, groups and districts would be free to choose supply frequency of their choice on varying tariff rates,” said another official.
Currently, UPPCL charges R3.85 per unit from domestic consumers in the two cities. The hike for uninterrupted power supply can be of a couple of rupees. “Residents are already paying much by way of back-up charges to housing societies,” he said.
Faced with a shortfall of over 2,500 MW in a day, the government has already ordered closure of all signages, glow signs and bill boards fed with electricity.
Meanwhile, power situation has remained grim even as the government on Monday withdrew its controversial order to close malls, markets, call centres and other such units in the state after 7 pm. Faced by a massive power crisis and inability to check pilferage or increase production, the government on Sunday pressed the panic button. But as pressure began mounting, the government on Monday hurriedly withdrew the order.