By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 20 Jan: Managing Director of Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL), Anil Kumar, today, briefed the media on the current power supply and demand scenario in Uttarakhand. Kumar stated that, in order to ensure effective implementation of the Chief Minister’s initiative “Saralikaran, Samadhaan aur Nistaaran”, the UPCL has decided to hold a fortnight long special campaign at which, in the course of the next 15 days, camps would be organised at the Sub-Divisional level to resolve the problems of the consumers.
Kumar also claimed that through the efforts of the UPCL officers, the Power Corporation had managed to procure around 400 MW of additional power which would solve the power shortage in the state to a great extent till Mid February.
He disclosed that, from Monday onwards, special ‘Samadhaan Shivirs’ would be organised at the Sub-Division Level across the state, where direct participation of Junior Engineers and Sub-Division Officers (Assistant Engineers) has been made mandatory. It would the responsibility of the Executive Engineers, Superintending Engineers and the Chief Engineer concerned to ensure that the camps effectively serve the purpose for which they are being held. The timings of the camps would be between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. every day. Wide publicity would be given on the camps to increase public participation and regional officers have also been instructed to ensure the participation of public representatives.
Kumar added that it would be ensured in every area that the information about the date and place of the camps is made known to the power consumers of that particular area through local newspapers. The officials would try to ensure that the problems are resolved on the spot at the camps. Even so, a control room would be set up to compile the complaints at the headquarters and ensure their redressal at the earliest.
The UPCL MD disclosed that, due to non-availability of gas at reasonable rates owing to international constraints, electricity is not available from gas-based plants of 321 MW capacity established in the state for more than a year. As a result, a gap has developed between the demand and supply to that extent. In addition, due to the usual decrease in hydropower generation and increased demand in winter, the demand and the supply gap has further increased. UPCL has made a provision of about 400 MW power through short and medium term tenders for the purpose of reducing this gap in demand and availability. Apart from this, an arrangement has also been made to procure 200 MW of power from Delhi and Haryana states through reverse banking. At present, against the average demand of 1500 to 1700 MW, the demand for electricity is currently being recorded at 2400 to 2500 MW during morning and evening peak hours.
To reduce this difference, as a result of the Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s efforts, the Ministry of Power, Government of India, has allocated about 400 MW additional power from the central pool to the state of Uttarakhand till February. This additional power is being received by the state with effect from 13 January, bringing much needed relief. Kumar claimed that, as a result of availability of additional power, there has been a significant reduction in power cuts during peak hours. He added that the additional allocated power being received by the state includes 100 MW from unallocated share of Karnataka State till 31 January, unallocated share of 40 MW for Madhya Pradesh State (North Zone) till the end of February, unallocated share of 40 MW for Uttar Pradesh State (North Zone) till the end of February and unallocated portion of 220 MW (50 MW-Assam, 50 MW-Bihar, 50 MW-Odisha and 70 MW-West Bengal) (Eastern Region) by 28 Janudary till the end of February. Besides this, UPCL has entered into a contract with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam for 100 MW power till March 2024, in relation to which power is currently not available due to certain discrepancies in the Coal Policy. Kumar said that the UPCL is following this up with the Union Ministry of Power and talks are in an advanced stage.
Kumar also claimed that due to special efforts made by UPCL in recent months, the rating of UPCL has improved from category B to category A. He also briefed the media about the work underway to shift underground the power transmission lines. Senior directors and officials of UPCL were present at the media briefing.