The Samajwadi Party ruled state of Uttar Pradesh will have to do some tough answering for knowingly keeping its people in the dark and depriving them of electricity connections even after new infrastructure has been laid, tested and energised.
This infrastructure is lying idle and unused in many villages and no power supply is being flowed into it by state power departments, thereby not only wasting this infrastructure but also forcing its people to go for un-metered connections through illegal means (or through katiya connections by paying a flat rate).
In what has come as a shocker, Uttar Pradesh state power department, DVVNL is holding back electricity supply in 20 out of 25 electrified villages in District Hathras, reveals a field audit report.
It may be noted here that following the recent incident of electrification of Nagla Fatela village of Uttar Pradesh, the union power minister Piyush Goyal had ordered an indepth field audit of all villages that have been notified as electrified across India.
The first of these field audit survey report of 25 electrified villages of Hathras District reveals that while the new infrastructure has been created, tested verified and even after initial energisation of this infrastructure (which means that power was made to run through the poles and wires before declaring it as electrified), there is no contonuous energisation and no connections have been released from the new infrastructure in as many as 20 villages.
Now the responsibility of releasing connections and maintain continuous energisation (or allowing continuous flow of electricity in these poles and wires) is the responsibility of the state power department. Why are the electricity connections not being given in these 20 villages that are keen to reap the benefit of this infrastructure created under the Central government’s DDUGJY program.
The field visits carried out by Gram Vidyut Abhyantas (GVAs), the engineers appointed working on the field and appointed by Rural Electrification Corporation clearly reveals that most of the households have un-metered connections (through Katiya transformers or infrastructure created for other purposes). These people are paying for getting power through such illegal connections.
Only five villages out of 25 villages in Hathras district (that were proposed for electrification) have been found as energised and are getting electricity through the newly created infrastructure under DDUGJY.
The field audit further observed that in most of the villages, the charging of the new infrastructure (or flow of power in the lines laid) has been with-held due to no-clearance from the electrical inspectorate (in many cases the delay is over six months). The fees of the electrical inspectorate is to be paid directly by the Discom. It is also learnt that the delays is on account of the fact that the contractors are being asked to pay the said fee which is causing this unnecessary delays.
When asked, REC officials said it had already advised all states almost two years back (through a letter dated August 28, 2014) that in order to avoid delays in getting the clearance from Electrical inspector, the responsibility of electrical inspectorate may be delegated to DISCOM officials. States like Madhya Pradesh have already delegated this through a gazette notification. However, UP continues to dilly dally here as well.
The Centre through the Chairman and managing director Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has already brought these anomalies to the notice of DVVNL (state Discom) and others state authorities to take immediate steps for continuous energisatuion of the newly built infrastructure under DDUGJY.
Currently, Writing a Book for Penguin India Titled Greased Pole:How Politics and Lobbying Stifled India's Energy Dreams. The author can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org (9810661825)
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