Amid statewide “black day” protest by the UP Power Corporation employees Torrent Power Ltd to launched its electricity distribution operation in the City of Taj.
Agra has thus become first city to go into the hands of private sector for the distribution of electricity. Torrent will be purchasing electricity from UPPCL for the supply to Agra.
However for vast majority of employees who have long been agitating against privatization of the power sector it was black day today.
The government has also handed over power distribution system to Torrent in Kanpur, where massive agitation has been going on.
Expressing satisfaction over the take over in Agra the chairman and Managing Director UPPCL Navneet Sehgal said in distribution sector input based franchisee model had been implemented to bring efficiency. He said transfer of power distribution to private sector in Agra was first step in this direction.
However employees union protesting on the issue said the government had resorted to high-handedness in implementing the scheme in Agra. Union leader Shailendra Dubey said large police force was deployed in Agra to hand over distribution to Torrent.
He said that the employees had decided to further intensify their work boycott from Friday. As a part of black day work came to standstill in UPPCL offices all over the state, Dubey said and added privatization of power distribution system was a big scandal that would lead to massive loss to power corporation.
He said financial losses due to privatization would ultimately have adverse impact on consumers who would have to pay more for tariff.
But additional MD UPPCL Narendra Bhooshan said Torrent Power would not only spruce up the distribution system in Agra but would also invest Rs 150 crore to improve the system in the city. He said apart from Agra and Kanpur more such public-private partnership (PPP) projects were in pipeline.