The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) continues to exempt more and more feeders from power cuts every day on politicians' demands even as the Allahabad high court finds officials' logic for giving 24X7 supply to six VIP districts and cities as a "disturbing" phenomenon.
A feeder supplies power to several villages and towns, depending on its capacity.
Though the UPPCL has exempted about six districts and towns from power cuts, there are hundreds of feeders which get more electricity than others for political reasons. Sources said the UPPCL gets 10-15 requests every day from MLAs, MPs and other politicians demanding more power for feeders catering to their areas.
"There are more than 500 exemptions that the UPPCL has already granted largely on political considerations so far. The load because of these exemptions — mostly for rural areas — must be more than 2,000 MW," a senior official disclosed. This figure translates to five times Lucknow's daily power demand of 400 MW and is about 18% of the state's daily requirement of about 11,000 MW.
Adding to the UPPCL's problems is that additional power supply is ‘requested' at night because of which the difference between the peak and off-peak demand is as high as 4,000 MW, making grid management a more difficult task.
"Because of exemptions, we are not able to make equitable distribution of supply in the day and night. Besides, the massive demand for power at night due to exemptions also poses a threat to the grid," the official said.
"Doing away with unreasonable discrimination may ease the pressure on the UPPCL and enable it to distribute 2,000 MW of extra power among all districts and villages equally," sources said.