Temporary power connections: Inquiry points to nexus between engineers, builders in Noida, Greater Noida
The inquiry report on irregularities discovered in issuing temporary power connections in Noida and Greater Noida points to a strong nexus between local power engineers and builders causing a massive revenue loss to the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL).
The UPPCL management has already issued charge sheets to 23 engineers and three clerks after transferring them to distant places on the basis of the inquiry report that HT has accessed.
“We will take further departmental action against the accused if they are not able give satisfactory replies to charges framed against them,” UPPCL chairman M Devraj said. He said serious irregularities were committed deliberately in giving temporary power connections with connivance between the department and the consumers.
The 13-page inquiry report that makes startling disclosures was signed jointly on August 17 by inquiry officers Anil Kumar Tiwari, chief engineer (Lucknow discom), Vikram Singh, superintending engineer (planning), UPPCL, and Sourabh Kumar, account officer (Lucknow discom).
The inquiry report reveals that a large number of temporary power connections of load as low as only 2 kw (kilowatt) were issued to colonisers to construct multi-storey apartments, besides maintaining no record of the date of issuing such connections, their validity period, billing etc. In some other cases, 2 kw temporary power connections were given for running 5 hp tubewell motors for irrigation.
In the inquiry conducted to check the status of temporary connections issued between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021 it was also found that most of the connections were issued off line, billing was done manually and no records were maintained in a majority of cases against the rules.
As many as 39 temporary power connections of 2 kw each were found to have been given in one single day in Greater Noida division while 43 similar connections were found to have been given for running 5 hp motors for agriculture purpose.
In one case, it was found that a 2 kw temporary power connection was issued for three months. On checking, a four-storey building was found on the site while the power connection was found to have been snapped though there was no record of the permanent disconnection.
“No four-storey building can be built in three months,” the inquiry report said.
In another case, a 2 kw temporary power connection was given for three months for construction of a three-storey building. The 2 kw connection was found to be connected to a thick 16 mm cable that can bear 70-80 kw load. “Not only is it not possible to complete the construction of the three-storey building in three months but using such a fat cable for a 2-kw load connection also raises doubts,” the report observed.
One 2-kw temporary connection was issued for construction purpose in May 3, 2018. The physical inspection by the inquiry team found a township comprising 96 duplex type houses on the site for which the connection was given. Though the township now has a 172 kw residential multi-point power connections, no other records of the temporary power connection and its billing were found.
The inquiry committee also found a 2-kw temporary connection being used for an under-construction five-storey building belonging to some Amzad Khan. The meter found installed at the site showed 1133 KWH consumption but no information about the temporary connection was found in the contract register.
Yet another 2 kw temporary power connection was found to have been used for the construction of a multi-storey complex comprising 28 flats in Chipiyana Khurd area of Gautam Buddha Nagar. The connection was released on March 7, 2020 for a period of three months only, but no records pertaining to billing and the time extension were found even after 11 months of the expiry of the three months’ period.
The committee further found that a bill (TC) of ₹4,06,00,940 was issued as charges to a 1600 KVA temporary power connection to a mobile manufacturing company in Sector 24, Yamuna Expressway on July 15, 2019 after which a revised bill of ₹2,64,58,140 was issued on Aug 18, 2019. The TC was again revised and finally this time it was issued for ₹32,98, 342 on September 9, 2020.
UP Rajay Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad chairman Avachesh Kumar Verma, who has demanded a state-wide inquiry into the status of temporary power connections, said it was a big scam in the power department in Noida.
“The engineers-builders’ nexus is clear and it must have caused a revenue loss of more than ₹100 crore to UPPCL,” he claimed.
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