UPPCL gears up to supply 24x7 power ahead of polls
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd is gearing up to start providing 24x7 electricity to people from April1 despite the government-owned corporation’s tight financial position.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) is gearing up to start providing 24x7 electricity to people from April1 despite the government-owned corporation’s tight financial position.
The fresh move is a part of the Modi government’s national commitment made with the launch of the Power For All (PFA) scheme in 2015-16. A joint venture of the Central and the state governments, the PFA aims to provide round the clock power to all households and any other power consuming entity by the financial year 2019-20.
The move to supply round-the-clock power comes after the corporation provided electricity connections to around 1 crore willing families in villages and also electrified all the remaining villages and hamlets.
The government is avoiding making any formal announcement on the 24x7 plan, lest the opposition should term the same as a violation of the model code of conduct.
Confirming the move, principal secretary, energy, and UPPCL chairman Alok Kumar said, “Surely, we have a plan to start 24x7 power for all from April 1.”
“However, supplying uninterrupted electricity to villages may be subject to the grid’s capacity to bear the load though we are trying to provide 24x7 power for all the consumers,” he added.
He clarified there was no need for the corporation to seek the Election Commission’s nod since this was a pre-announced scheme.
The corporation expects the peak power demand to soar to around 22,000 MW in May and it is confident of meeting that much demand with availability of power not being an issue.
“We have sufficient electricity available and have already tied up with various power producers for May and June,” Kumar claimed.
The UPPCL’s poor financial position, however, casts a doubt on its capability to sustain 24x7 supply to consumers.
“The corporation may pool all resources to continue providing round the clock supply to people till elections are over in May-end. But sustaining the momentum after that will be a very big challenge,” people familiar with the issue in the UPPCL said.
“The availability of power is not an issue nowadays with abundant generation in the country, but the UPPCL does not have the money to buy power,” they said.
With increasing commercial and distribution losses, the UPPCL is said to have a current revenue deficit of over 10,000 crore and supplying more electricity, according to sources, would only deepen the deficit.
“The 24x7 scheme will certainly have financial implications for us but we are taking all the measures to overcome the hurdles,” Kumar said.