State-run power generating company NTPC has snapped 275 MW power from Uttar Pradesh from midnight of August 20 for not clearing dues that had been outstanding for more than 45 days. In a communication to UPPCL, NTPC has informed that it will regulate 275.60 MW from August 20 to 29.
The action is a follow-up on NTPC’s warning to Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) on August 12 that it would regulate the supply of 5,512 MW power from its generating stations from August 20 as it had not cleared outstanding dues for more than 45 days.
In response to NTPC’s warning, the energy department of the UP government had written back on August 19, requesting it to desist from disconnecting the power supply. It had also assured the NTPC that a loan of Rs 4,900 crore is expected any day from PFC-REC and the payment to NTPC will be cleared very soon.
Based on the government’s assurances, the NTPC decided to regulate only 5% of its entire supply. Informing the UPPCL regarding the revision in the quantum of regulation, the Regional ED North of NTPC, Debashis Sen has written that in reference to a letter from energy department Government of UP, “NTPC has revised the proposed quantum (ie 5512 MW) to 275.60 MW (ie 5% of the earlier proposed quantum) for the period from August 20 to 29,” the letter stated, adding that it shall be reviewed in due course of time, subject to UPPCL settling all the outstanding dues beyond 45 days and comply with the MOP guidelines.
Speaking to FE on condition of anonymity, an official of the power corporation said that though NTPC has issued warning of regulating electricity supply several times, this is the first time when it has actually regulated supply. “The revised regulation of 275 MW by NTPC instead of its entire supply of 5512 MW, is more like a symbolic rap on UPPCL to take the matter seriously and get financial discipline on track,” he said.
A senior official of the Power Corporation said the regulation of 275 MW would pose no serious threat to the state’s consumers and that there would be no problem in managing the demand side. However, he said that this action by NTPC would definitely put a question mark on the credibility of power corporation.
“It is the first time that NTPC has actually resorted to regulating supply in the state because of non-payment of dues. This is a blot on the Power Corporation,” he said, adding that while public welfare schemes are important, the government should not thrust the financial cost of it on the department. “The financial burden of these public welfare programmes should be borne by the government and not be passed on to government departments,” he said, adding that the Saubhagya Yojana, though a visionary scheme, has financially broken the already floundering department.