UPPCL to launch drive to install smart meters in 47 towns
Post Lok Sabha elections, the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) will be launching a statewide drive to replace the existing energy meters with the smart ones in all the 47 towns covered under the Revised Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (RAPDRP) as well as in the rural areas in the district of Varanasi.
UPPCL, managing director, Aparna U has directed all the discoms to chalk out a detailed action plan with a clear timeline to execute and complete the smart metre solution scheme within next two years by replacing the electronic or electromagnetic meters with the smart ones.
While under the drive, all new connections will also be given only smart meters, defective meters will also be replaced with them.
She also asked the discoms to prioritise work in 10 UP cities, including Lucknow, which are among Central government’s list of cities to be developed as smart cities.
“The work related to maintaining an online inventory of smart meters, their installation and training of the staff etc scheduled to start from May-June,” a UPPCL official who did not wish to be identified revealed. Installation of smart meters, he said, would help the loss-incurring discoms to effectively and remotely monitor the consumption patterns of consumers, among other things, and take action of pilferage was suspected.
“You are requested to make division-wise and substation-wise timeline for the execution of the smart meter project in keeping with the roll out plan already approved by the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission,” Aparna U told all the managing directors of the discoms further telling them to make action plan available to the UPPCL at the earliest.
She said for uniformity and the best utilisation of resources it was necessary that in the areas which had been identified for installation of smart meters in next two years, the defective meters should be replaced with smart meters only and any new connection that was sanctioned there was also released with a smart meter only. There are around 2 lakh defective meters installed on consumer premises in cities at present.
The discoms have been told to prioritise work in the 10 cities of Lucknow, Agra,Kanpur,Varanasi, Jhansi, Allahabad, Aligarh, Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur. These are among country’s total 99 cities shortlisted by the Union ministry of Urban Development to be developed into smart cities.
One of the proposed smart solutions in the smart city is energy management by adopting smart meters in power distribution.
According to sources, under the non-APDRP areas or rural areas there are around 44 lakh unmetered power connections of them include nearly 12 lakh farmers’ private tube wells while no reading was being received from 12 lakh meters under such areas.
“The work of installation of smart meters in rural areas may start after the project is complete in 47 towns and may go hand in hand as well depending on availability of resources,” sources said.
UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad president, Awadhesh Kumar Verma, however, objected to the plan saying the UPPCL was doing experiments with regard to meters causing discomfort to consumers and revenue loss itself.
“This time, the UPPCL must ensure there are no more experiments done. It must doubly check the genuineness of mart meters at reputed labs before they were installed,” he demanded.