A Gujarat-based company, Torrent Power Limited (TPL), will take over the power distribution in Agra for twenty years as a franchisee of the UP Power Corporation Limited by September-end this year.
Torrent Power had bagged contract to light up Kanpur, Agra in May this year.
The company was scheduled to take over the power distribution of the city by August 15 but due to joint verification of assets by the franchisee and Dakshin Vidyut Vitran Limited (DVNL) and the joint audit of the assets are not completed take operations are delayed. The DVNL, a subsidiary of the Corporation, looks after the power distribution in Agra and the southern region of the state.
Before the take over takes place, the joint audit of all assets in the entire power distribution network within the municipal limits of Agra, including the housing colonies and offices, electric poles, transformers, switch yards, switch gears and other equipment has to be completed as per the provisions of the Distribution Franchise Agreement (DFA), that the company has signed with the Corporation. Other major tasks that are yet to be completed before the handover takes place are: billing date verification and boundary metering or the installation of the metres by TPL and DVNL at the transmission sub-stations of 120 KV and 132 KV capacity each in Agra.
The Corporation will supply power at the rate of Rs 2.17 per unit to TPL in Agra. As per the DFA, the Torrent Power will invest Rs 200 crore in Agra in the next five years for the improvement of the power distribution network in Agra. At present, the revenue collection in Agra is at the rate of Rs 1.43 per unit while AT&C losses, which including line loses, theft as well as non-billing, are to the tune of 42 %. Torrent Power has promised to bring down power losses to 15 % in the next five years. The rates are approved by the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The Uttar Pradesh government had decided to hand over the power distribution in 9 cities of the state to the franchisee. The nine cities are: Agra, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Moradabad, Meerut and Aligarh. Officials in the government expects significant improvement in revenue recovery per unit. Officials feel that the corporation was gradually becoming a power trading company, which gathers power from various sources to supply them to the four power distribution companies in the state. The power employees under the banner of Uttar Pradesh Power Employees Joint Action Committee were against the new decision of the government dubbing it as against the interest of the power industry, however they decided to withdraw their earlier announced strike after the corporation management assured that the grivances of the employees would be looked upon.