While in a major U-turn, the Uttar Pradesh government rolled back its decision to privatise integrated power services in seven cities including state capital Lucknow in a late Thursday night decision, records show that contrary to government’s claims, line losses have increased in many districts, perhaps owing to excessive power pilferage.
In fact, 48 of 150 worst performing distribution areas in terms of revenue recovery across India, are from UP where the recorded line loss has come out to be over 40%. The grim scenario came to the fore at a review meeting recently held between Union Power ministry and the UP energy department.
The records line losses
The records put Chitrakoot on top with 63.7 per cent line losses registering a jump of 4% between February 2017 and March 2018. Mathura, the home district of state power minister Shrikant Sharma is on close second at 57.8% line loss, a rise of 2% in a year’s time.
Moreover, Orai division in Bundelkhand region registered the maximum jump from 49% in February 2017 to 57% in March 2018 registering a rise of around 8 % in a month.
Orai is followed by Azamgarh, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s parliamentary constituency, in eastern UP, where line losses increased by around 6% from 47% in February 2017 to 53% in March 2018.
However, the officials UP Power Corporation (UPPCL) attribute the line loss figures to the absence of aerial bunch conductors (ABCs) which are being installed to check power theft.
The Jaunpur sub-division within Varanasi zone, which also comprises parliamentary constituency of PM has registered around 2% increase in line losses. UPPCL records show that around 53 per cent consumers are using unmetered power in this division.
According to Principal Secretary, power, the engineers concerned had already been cautioned over the issue. The principal secretary claimed that all corrective measures were being taken to check the line loss and curb the rampant power theft.The increase in line losses has been registered across 14 districts even as the state government promises to provide round the clock power supply under Centre’s ambitious 24×7 `Power For All’ scheme.
UP CM had also announced that 24-hour power supply would be ensured in only those districts where line losses would be less than 10%. Ironically, at present, except for Noida, line losses in various districts has remained around 30%.[Courtesy:The New Indian Express]