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Centre censures UP over rural electrification

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Mar 23 (UNI) The Union Power ministry has reportedly expressed unhappiness over the UP Power Corporation's slow pace in meeting the targets set for Rural Electrification (RE) and Accelerated Power Development Reform Programme (APDRP).

Union Power secretary R V Shahi -- in the meeting held last week -- had reportedly expressed dissatisfaction at the pace of progress in both the schemes and directed the UPPCL to fix a time-bound programme for the two.

Reviewing the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme, he directed that 500 villages where the RE programme had been implemented be handed over to franchises by April 2006.

Under the Electricity Act 2003, it has been provided that the task of power distribution and revenue collection be handed over to franchise companies.

Mr Sahi also directed that the RE be implemented in other villages at the earliest and the same be handed over to franchise by July 2006.

The Union government representative was informed that the main hurdle in franchise was the Rs three lakh security money which the companies were required to deposit.

The Power Secretary issued a stern warning to three firms involved in the RE programme and ordered that their target be revised. He added in the event of failure in meeting the revised target, the firms be blacklisted.

For APDRP, he said an action plan be drawn for reduction in line losses -- between 15 per cent to 25 per cent. He added that 25 districts be selected for the purpose.

As per the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme, UP has to electrify all its villages by 2009. But since UP lacks sufficient power supply, the Union government official pointed out that it was important that the state government increased the power availability in the coming years to bridge the massive demand and supply gap.

In the coming years, UP would require 12,000 MW of power to meet its requirement.

UNI NAB ARS LS BS1359

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