Uttar Pradesh govt allots Rs 1,000 cr to power sector

01 Dec 2021

The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 1,000 crore in budgetary support to the power sector, promising round-the-clock power supply throughout the state, including rural areas, in the run-up to assembly elections.

The allocation for the power sector was nearly 12% of the total supplementary budget of Rs 8,479 crore presented on the second day of the UP assembly's short winter session.

Finance Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna announced the allocation, and said that an additional sum of Rs 185 crore has been provided for household electrification.

The budgetary allocation, according to official sources, will assist the financially ailing UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) in reinforcing the existing electricity distribution infrastructure.

While the official power supply schedule for villages calls for an 18-hour supply, the actual supply has been dwindling due to repeated outages caused by poor infrastructure.

This, according to official sources, must be considered when planning a 24-hour power supply.

The corporation is facing massive financial losses of Rs 90,000 crore, which have accrued over time as a result of sluggish revenue recovery and power theft.

The state government had devised the One-Time Settlement (OTS) scheme, which included a waiver for consumers who were behind on their payments and had reached out to approximately 30 lakh people.

Experts said that the move will enable the BJP to portray itself as committed to improving power infrastructure, which has long been a source of contention for previous governments.

The state government signed an MoU with the Centre for a 24-hour power supply in the state shortly after taking power in 2017.

The state government has also launched a massive electrification drive under the Centre's flagship Saubhagya Scheme, as well as improving rural and urban power infrastructure through the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rural Electrification Scheme (DDURES) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPS), respectively.

Under the current regime, the Saubhagya Scheme has electrified nearly 1.4 crore households, bringing the total number of consumers to nearly four crores. This has increased power demand, which has reached a peak of over 25,000 MW per day.

A government spokesperson told the media that around 7,786 km of 33 KV lines have been installed in the state, and the state government has begun night patrolling so that technical issues can be resolved quickly at the local level.

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