With the first phase of voting on April 11 just a week away, rising mercury levels have pushed up the power demand in Uttar Pradesh by almost 25% over a fortnight.
Compared with power demand of about 12,000 megawatt (Mw) two weeks ago, the energy demand in the state has shot up by 33% to nearly 16,000 Mw at present with state power utility UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) issuing a directive to power distribution companies (discoms) for providing uninterrupted power supply across 23 districts in Western UP, which will witness polling in the first three phases.
According to UPPCL, the state power demand was expected to shoot up by almost 40% by next month to more than 22,000 Mw compared to peak hour demand of 20,000 Mw last year.
Polling in UP will progress from Western UP towards the eastern region during successive phases on April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6, 12 and 19. The seven-phase polling will witness voting in 8, 8, 10, 13, 14, 14 and 13 constituencies respectively spread across 75 districts in UP.
As such, in the first three phases, polling will be conducted in 26 parliamentary constituencies across 23 districts viz. Agra, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Mathura, Aligarh, Etah, Hathras, Badaun, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Sambhal, Amroha, Bijnore, Rampur, Shamli and Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida).
Currently, rural areas of the state have been getting a maximum power supply of 18 hours a day despite the Adityanath government signing the ‘Power for All’ document with the Centre for providing uninterrupted power supply to consumers even in the rural areas.
The projected increase in power demand is both on account of incremental hike in demand and the Lok Sabha elections, which would require higher power consumption till the election process gets over on May 23 with the counting of votes.
Although there is abundant availability of power with the domestic power exchanges and other sources, the cash strapped UPPCL with huge accumulated losses will find it tough to make ends meet with precarious financial position and rising power demand.
According to sources, the UPPCL had tied up with different sources for supplying power in the state during the peak demand months of May and June.
The state government has been vigorously pushing the solar energy sector as a greener and renewable energy source. It is targetting more than 10,700 Mw of solar energy generation capacity by 2022, mainly in the private sector.