And, UPPCL fails to hit the target!
EVEN AS some over-smart power officials are resorting to illegal methods to jack up revenue without having to work hard, a quite unseasonal atmosphere is prevailing in the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA), this year.
The financial year is drawing to a close, but one does not hear of any special or routine revenue drives and camps which used to be so much in the news in the last quarter of any financial year. It is business as usual. Visit any LESA office and you will not find if the officials are under any revenue realisation pressure unlike in the past when they did have the time to breathe. And this is despite the fact that the cash-strapped UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) is distributing salaries by taking loans due to poor revenue realisation. Officers seem to be smug. They do not burn midnight oil in offices, ordering disconnections and assessing the revenue realisation. Instead, it is an easy-going affair for them. They come well after 10 am and leave after 5 and 5.30.
Result: Against the Rs 82 crore revenue target for the current month, the LESA ended up with collecting as insignificant amount as Rs 3.36 crore till March 20! In fact, of 11 LESA divisions, the revenue recovery is in negative in 8 divisions compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The Hussainganj division which had been rewarded last year for recovering revenue more than the target has collected 17 per cent revenue less than the last year. Same for Residency, Chowk,Aliganj, Indira Nagar, Gomti Nagar, Rahim Nagar, and Aishbagh divisions the revenue collection of which has been less by 36, 11, 17, 31, 10, 15, and 11 per cent less than what they achieved in March (Upto March 20) last year.
Probably, most of the LESA officials who were brought in the State capital from places like Agra, and Bareilly following a major reshuffle last year are more occupied with searching new ways, even if arbitrary and illegal, for enhancing the revenue rather than toiling in the field, snapping defaulters’ connections and inviting many higher ups’ wrath in the process.
So, officials of LESA’s Circle-2 arbitrarily enhanced power load of around 3,000 connections in the Aishbagh division from 1 and 2 KW to 3 KW, charging Rs 1625 extra from every consumer. Though this action had raised a major controversy with the UP State Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) having already calling officials’ explanation in the matter, the officials responsible for all this have started justifying their ‘unjust’ act. Not only this, the officials of other two circles want to emulate the path as shown by the Cirle-3 and a senior official of the Circle-2 comprising tarns-Gomti areas has already told some press persons that he would also adopt the same practice of increasing consumers’ load to add to the revenue.