Private Discom failed - Greater Noida gets public sector discom also

Thursday, 17 December 2009 08:50 Lathish PV
Greater NoidaThe UP State Electricity Regulatory Commission(UPERC) has granted Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam, (PVVN), a wholly owned subsidiary of the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), the licence for power distribution in Greater Noida. Interestingly, PVVN will be the second power distribution licencee in the area as the Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL), a private company of the RPG group, also holds the licence for power distribution in the area. PVVN had applied for the licence in Greater Noida in April 2008. The power regulator had held a public hearing in Greater Noida on October 1 in which all the stakeholders were invited to put forward their claims and objections. The licence was formally issued to PVVN.

NPCL received the licence from the UP government on December 15, 1993, during the SP-BSP coalition headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav. According to the laid down rules, within 64 months of the issue of the licence, NPCL was required to set up a thermal power plant with an installed capacity of 90 MW. The conditions also provided that if NPCL failed, then its licence will be cancelled or the then tariff at which the UP State Electricity Board was selling power to NPCL will be doubled. Interestingly, none of the three happened — neither did the NPCL set up the power plant nor was their licence cancelled or tariff hiked.

In its licence application to the regulator, the PVVN contended that NPCL has not been able to meet the growing power demands in the area. It also argued that the NPCL did not set up its own power plant of 90 MW-capacity as required under the agreement it had signed in 1993. “The government has to step in since the industrial expansion in Greater Noida has been hit badly by the shortage of power,” said an official of the UPPCL. He added: “The NPCL is reluctant to supply power to villages around Greater Noida and is ignoring the protests carried out by locals.”

On the other hand, the NPCL had opposed UPPCL’s move for obtaining the licence. “We are serving over 50,000 consumers including industrial, commercial, domestic and 2,000 rural connections,” said an NPCL official.

On the issue of setting up the 90-MW power plant, the NPCL maintains that while it purchases the said amount of power from UPPCL, it also procures an additional 25 MW from independent sources under the “Open Access Regime”, as provided by the Indian Electricity Act 2003.

“We had applied for setting up a 500-MW thermal power plant in Mirzapur, but the UP government has not responded to our request,” said the official. He added: “It will be a drag on the state exchequer since the UPPCL seeks to set up its own power distribution infrastructure in Greater Noida, where our power distribution network already exists.” The authority of Greater Noida will extend a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the UPPCL for setting up the power distribution network.

Source - Indian Express