Lucknow The increased power supply hours, as promised by the Yogi Adityanath government, may prove to be double-edged sword for the villagers and farmers in Uttar Pradesh.Having proposed an unprecedented tariff hike of upto 350% for them on the ground that more electricity is now being made available to rural villages, the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) is now also exploring the possibility of enhancing rural consumers’ load on connections. An enhancement in the load will automatically result into increased monthly bill since all such consumers will have to pay more fixed monthly charges that are linked to the per kw load of the electricity connection. In its latest move, the UPPCL has blamed the overloading for growing cases of burning and damage of transformers in villages causing disruptions to power supply there. Overloading results from a situation where consumers use electricity in excess of their sanctioned load for which they pay the monthly fixed charges at the rate of per kw.The rural power supply is especially bad in Poorvanchal from where even ruling party MLAs, MPs and ministers are drawing government’s attention to the problem.The authorities suspect that availability of more and reliable power supply in villages has encouraged people there to start using fans, coolers, heaters etc leading to overloading and damaging of the existing transformers. They have, therefore decided to examine the causes of transformer burn-outs in villages as well as on private tube wells and increase the consumers’ connection load accordingly. “The transformers in the rural areas are getting damaged because of overloading and this is disrupting power supply in villages. We have, therefore, decided to organize camps in villages to increase the load of consumers’ electricity connection to the required extent,” UPPCL chairman, Alok Kumar said in a press statement on Friday.He said the corporation would increase the capacity of its transformers within 24 hours after load at consumer end was enhanced in a village or a private tube well owned by a farmer. The load enhancement, however, will not come free and the concerning consumers will have to pay the full cost for the same, albeit in instalments. “During checking if it is found that a consumer’s actual load is more than the sanctioned load, his sanctioned load will be increased suitably and the matching capacity of the transformer would be increased only after the concerning consumers pay the cost prescribed for the enhancement of the connection load,” Kumar made it clear.And once a consumer gets this done, his monthly fixed charges will also go up accordingly.Earlier, the UPPCL had proposed an unprecedented tariff hike of upto 350% for rural domestic consumers and 70% for farmers’ private tube wells. When the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) asked it to explain the logic for the steep tariff hike proposal, the corporation in its reply on Thursday justified it saying now villages were being provided 18 hours power supply every day this year against 10 hours last year.The corporation has also earlier blamed increased power supply in villages for its growing accelerated technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. The corporation in a letter to the Centre in June had said that an increase of around 3% in losses in 2016-17 vis-à-vis 2015-16 was largely because of providing more electricity to unmetered consumers in village. UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad president, Awadhesh Kumar Verma said it was not the right attitude to blame and penalize the rural consumers for all the wrong things in the UPPCL. “The AT&C losses are abnormally high even in big cities, then why blame only villagers,” he questioned.