Remember how Uttar Pradesh was seen as an inefficient state in terms of power distribution? It may soon become a thing of the past as Uttar Pradesh is set to introduce a landmark reform that will turn around the power sector in the state. For quite some time now, the five discoms in the state have been in a dismal state. For the year ended March 2018, the state discoms recorded aggregate technical and commercial losses to the tune of 27.35%. The state of discoms was worse off before CM Yogi stormed to power with discoms recording losses above 30%, previously.
The state has set ambitious target of providing power supply to every household by December 2018 and at the same time containing huge line losses. In order to go ahead with its ambitious plans, CM Yogi administered Uttar Pradesh is set to install one crore prepaid meters under the Saubhagya scheme which aims to add a total of 4 crore rural households in the state to the power grid by the end of this year. This revolutionary step by the government is bound to take Uttar Pradesh onto a next level with the ambitions of universal access to electricity and reduction in line losses becoming a reality. The exercise of installing the meters will begin on June 1 this year, and is mandated to be completed by the end of this year.
The pre-paid meters to be installed in the 13 districts reporting the highest line losses in the state are going to work very much like pre-paid recharges on mobile phones. The consumers will be able to recharge electricity in advance making it convenient for the consumers to avail electricity and at the same time, reducing the scope of line losses to the government. Consumers will be able to recharge their power connections with sums as low as Rs. 50. Modi government has further planned to end human interface by March, 2019 in an attempt to take down discoms losses. To this end, the government plans mandatory installation of pre-paid meters for small consumers and smart meters for big households under the Saubhagya scheme.
This innovative move is going to bring about a revolutionary change in Uttar Pradesh power sector. According to an official of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) which is overseeing the pre-paid metre installation exercise, the move has far-reaching benefits including elimination of human interference such as metre reading, billing, etc. and reduction in per capita expenditure on revenue collection. However, the Yogi government is not going to stop here. According to the official, all homes in Uttar Pradesh will be provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply. Metre installation in every household is an essential part of this ambitious target.
This comes in the backdrop of the Modi government achieving unprecedented success in the power sector. The Modi government has already achieved the target of 100 percent electrification, well within the deadline. However, the government has not stopped here, it is now making rapid strides and is aggressively pursuing universal electrification. India is fast moving towards a bright future in which there will be no household without electricity. In 2014, no one could have dreamt that in a matter of four years we will come so close to the goal of universal access to electricity (not to be confused with 100 percent electrification of villages across India that has already been achieved).
With this massive turnaround, CM Yogi Adityanath has raised the bar in terms of governance standards. What Uttar Pradesh is doing will become an example for all other states and especially those which are facing mammoth power deficit. CM Yogi has shown the way towards universal household electrification. It has shown how to turn around a state reeling in power deficit for a number of years into a state with universal access to electricity. CM Yogi Adityanath deserves all the credit in the world for inheriting the legacy of power outages and load shedding from the Akhilesh government and turning around things within a year of his coming to power.