UP: ‘No tripping zones’ fail to see the light of day
Deadline missed: Distribution, transmission bottlenecks and staff laxity short-circuit UPPCL’s ambitious plan.Updated: Jun 11, 2019 13:03 IST
The UP Power Corporation Ltd’s (UPPCL) much-hyped plan to turn 18 cities of Uttar Pradesh into ‘no tripping zones’ appear to have gone up in smoke with even the state capital facing regular, unscheduled power cuts every day, besides countless instances of tripping.
Although demand-supply gap is not an issue this time with adequate electricity being available to meet the requirement, distribution and transmission bottlenecks coupled with the staff laxity are said to be largely responsible for the avoidable power cuts as well as tripping.
After energy minister Shrikant Sharma made the ambitious announcement, the UPPCL authorities in June last year, fixed a deadline for declaring the state’s 17 municipal corporations, besides Noida, as ‘no tripping zones’ in phases. The last phase was to be completed by August 15, 2018 and the officials were asked to work in a mission mode to meet the deadline.
As per the rollout plan, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Noida and Varanasi were to be declared ‘no tripping zones’ by July 2018, Lucknow, Bareilly, Moradabad, Mathura, Aligarh, Jhansi and Firozabad by July 31 the same year and Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Shahajhanpur, Faizabad, Saharanpur and Kanpur were to be declared free from power cuts by August 15.
The UPPCL has, however, not been able to declare any of the identified cities as ‘tripping free’ zone so far even after 10 months of the deadline fixed for the task. On the contrary, all these cities, including Lucknow, not only continue to face frequent instances of tripping and undeclared rostering.
UPPCL managing director and secretary (energy) Aparna U said the ‘no tripping zone’ was a misnomer because tripping of electricity was unavoidable due to a number of technical and other reasons.
“What we meant was to strengthen the distribution system in the identified 18 cities to supply 24x7 power with minimum incidents of tripping and we have injected a lot of funds in these cities… the scope for improvement is still there,” she said.
People familiar with the matter said load shedding that these cities, including Lucknow, faced was not because of any paucity of electricity. Officially, these cities are supposed to get round the clock supply.
“But we have to resort to load shedding even in big cities due to reasons like local faults in cables, transformers or just because the worn-out transmission or distribution network is too overloaded to carry power to consumer even though power is available in abundance. Sometimes, rostering is done for maintenance work too,” they said
“Often, consumers have to suffer prolonged power cuts due to lax monitoring as well and the problem in Lucknow is largely because of this reason with the top LESA officials lacking the kind of sensitivity they are supposed to have in the capital city,” they said.