The UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) continues to exempt more and more feeders from rostering everyday on politicians’ demand even as the high court finds officials’ logic for giving 24X7 supply to so-called six VIP districts/cities ‘disturbing’.
Hearing a PIL petition on Tuesday, the high court had asked the UPPCL to produce its roster and also give the reply justifying discrimination in power distribution in certain districts, in the form of an affidavit by September 20.
Though the UPPCL has exempted only around half-a-dozen districts or towns from power cuts, there are hundreds other feeders that get more electricity than others for political reasons. Sources said that the UPPCL got 10-15 requests every day from MLAs, MPs and other politicians all demanding more power for the feeders catering to their respective areas.
“There are more than 500 exemptions that the UPPCL has already granted largely on political considerations and the load because of these exemptions mostly for rural areas must be more than 2,000 MW,” disclosed a senior official.
But what actually adds to the UPPCL’s problems is that all of them want more supply in the night because of which the difference between the peak and off-peak demand is as high as 4000 MW, making grid management a more difficult task.
“Because of exemptions we are not able to make equitable distribution of supply in day and night. Besides, massive demand for power in the night because of exemptions also poses a threat to the grid,” the official asserted.
Expressing serious concern over the discrimination in power supply to various districts, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Tuesday directed the UPPCL to produce power supply schedule along with an affidavit by September 20. When asked why the UPPCL discriminated by giving 24-hour supply to certain districts, the corporation’s counsel pleaded that frequent VVIP visits to these districts necessitated discrimination. The court found the reply quite ‘disturbing’. Sources said that the UPPCL had decided to put before the court the actual position leaving it to the high court to issue appropriate directions on the matter. The PIL challenging the discriminatory power distribution has, in fact, come as a blessing in disguise to the cash-strapped and power-deficient UPPCL.
“Doing away with the unreasonable discriminations may ease the pressure on the UPPCL, enabling it to equally distribute 2000 MW spare power among all districts and villages,” claimed sources.