Uttar Pradesh plans public-private model for power distribution

February 6th, 2009 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 6 (IANS) The public-private partnership model will first be implemented in the power sector in Uttar Pradesh, with an input-based franchisee system being proposed to be put in place in nine cities by March-end.This follows a decision taken by the state cabinet earlier this week.

“Under the system, the state power corporation will sell power to the franchisee, which in turn will be free to carry out the distribution at a price prescribed by SERC (State Electricity Regulatory Commission),” the commission’s chairman Navneet Sehgal told IANS.

“Agra, Kanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly and Gorakhpur will be covered in the first phase, while Varanasi, Meerut, Allahabad and Aligarh will follow later,” he said.

Maintaining that these cities incurred the most losses, Sehgal said: “The new system is expected to bring about a turnaround.”

With a view to expediting the process, SERC proposes to invite bids next week. The contract will be awarded for 20 years, and bidders will be required to submit a detailed proposal for the entire period.

Torrent Power, a key player in India’s power sector, is understood to have evinced a keen interest in Kanpur, the biggest loss-maker. Torrent already distributes power in Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan.

Asked whether the switchover to the new model would affect SERC employees, Sehgal said employees would be given the option of proceeding on deputation to the franchisee. “They will continue to enjoy the same remuneration and perquisites they are entitled to now.”

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