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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Will install smart power meters in theft-prone areas: UPPCL chief

Worried over rising electricity thefts, Uttar Pradesh government has decided to install smart meters in the theft-prone pockets from December this year.

lucknow Updated: Aug 31, 2017 14:01 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Alok Kumar.
Alok Kumar.

Worried over rising electricity thefts, Uttar Pradesh government has decided to install smart meters in the theft-prone pockets from December this year.

It will also replace all existing power-guzzling water pump sets used by farmers with the energy efficient ones free of cost to plug in electricity wastages.

“We have already floated a tender for the procurement of 40 lakh smart meters to install them in theft prone pockets and on all the consumer premises using an electricity connection above 5 kv,” principal secretary, energy and UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) chairman, Alok Kumar told HT in an interview.

Smart meters will help the authorities read consumer’s meter remotely to know his consumption pattern and taken action on suspicion of pilferage. “Moreover, the power supply to an electricity connection with a smart meter can also be snapped remotely in case of non-payment of dues and pilferage remotely without no body having to visit the place physically,” Kumar explained.

The UPPCL, he indicated, might not charge any money from consumers for replacing their current meters with smart meters.

Admitting to the aggregate and technical losses (which is largely power theft) not declining, he said the government was determined to deal with power thieves sternly with the work to set up special police stations for this purpose also being in progress.

Kumar said the government had an ambitious plan to replace around 12 lakh water pumps in the state with the energy-efficient sets. The move, he claimed, will ensure a win-win situation for both UPPCL and the farmers.

“We have tied up with the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd for not only replacing farmers’ pump sets free of cost but also provide them free maintenance of energy efficient pumps for five years,” Kumar said.

He said providing 24X7 electricity to each and every households in the state by 2019 was a major challenge since around two crore households in the state did not have an electricity connection at present.

“We are going to launch a new campaign in a mission mode to issue new electricity connections in rural as well as urban areas with the help of dedicated teams,” he said. He said all the villages would be connected to the grid by December 2018.

On complaints about cities and villages not getting electricity supply as per the schedule at times with even the chief minister having sought a report from him on the issue, Kumar said all efforts were being made to provide smooth power supply as per the schedule.

“Sometimes there are unavoidable situations that cause problems,” he said.

“For example, our current grid is not designed to bear the power load of more than 18,000 MW but the demand quite often reaches 20,000 MW and in such a situation we have no option but resort to rostoring,” he explained, adding, “We are chalking out a plan to enhance the capacity of the grid.”

Asked about the hefty tariff hike proposal for the rural domestic consumers, he said people should not react emotionally to this issue but think rationally.

“We suffer a loss of Rs 2 on each unit of electricity supply in villages because of the gap in average cost of production and average cost of revenue. We should either overburden urban and industrial consumers or ask rural consumers to pay the full cost for the services which are getting better now,” he said.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 14:01 IST

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