In line with the Centre’s reforms linked distribution scheme, the Uttar Pradesh government has drawn up a plan improve the financial and operational performance of discoms. They include plans to bring down the Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses from the current 30.3% to 15% by March 2024, reduce ACS-ARR gap from -.07 in 2019-20 to 0.85 in 2023-24 and bring down the distribution losses from the current 18% to 13.3% by March 2024.
In a presentation made before the Union minister of Power RK Singh here last week, the UPPCL has stated that in order to achieve this target, it has already drawn up an ambitious plan to install 40 lakh smart meters in the state, out of which 10.31 lakh have already installed. The remaining have a deadline of December, 2021. It has also set a target to meter the balance 16.41 lakh un-metered consumers by October, 2020. Apart from this, it has already operationalised 75 special electricity police thanas, one in each district, increased vigilance squads in the state from 33 to 88, out of which 63 squads are already operational. It also plans to ensure 100% feeder metering, energy audit of feeders, segregation of agricultural feeders, etc.
The UPPCL has also set a target for improvement of collection efficiency by March, 2024. The key measures include sub-station-based monitoring of all parameters including recovery and disconnection, having a variety of payment options for hassle free payment and engaging CSC, VLE and private collection agencies for collecting bills.
According to the collection efficiency trajectory drawn up by UPPCL, it has set itself the task of scaling up the collection efficiency from 85% in 2020 to 98% by 2024.
Some of the ongoing measures adopted for this are conversion of smart meters into pre-paid mode, installation of pre-paid smart meters in government buildings, remote disconnection and reconnection for smart meters to push revenue collections from urban areas, promoting online bill payment and enabling self-bill generation facility. The UPPCL has also sought the support of Rs 24,409 crore from GoI for installation of pre-paid smart meters for all the consumers.
It may be mentioned that as per UDAY targets, Uttar Pradesh was supposed to reduce AT&C losses to 14.86% by 2019-20, against which the state’s AT&C losses stand at a whopping 30.3%. In fact, in a effort to tackle the problem, Uttar Pradesh power minister Shrikant Sharma has recently asked officials to bring down the state’s AT&C losses to less than 15% within 90 days and also directed managing directors of respective state discoms to cooperate in the plan. He further appealed to all member of Parliaments of Uttar Pradesh, MLAs and gram pradhans for their cooperation to help bring down feeder losses in their constituencies. He suggested that the elected representatives can adopt feeders in their areas and monitor the progress of the work done by officials.