New scheme for uninterrupted power at premium price

The Union Ministry of Power has come up with a new scheme that provides for levying extra charges on consumers who want uninterrupted of electricity.

The pilot project of the scheme is likely to be rolled out in Haryana, a senior official in the ministry told Deccan Herald. He added that the process has started already.

As per the project, Haryana’s power distribution company Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) will levy reliability charges for providing 24-hour power supply to industrial consumers. The Haryana government has already submitted a proposal to the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) in this regard. Once the power regulator gives its nod to the proposal, high-tension power users like industries will get uninterrupted power supply. Based on the results of the pilot project, the government will work on extending the project to consumers in other sectors, the official explained.

The scheme comes as an advantage for the big industries that were facing difficulties due to frequent power disruptions. Some of the industrialists have pleaded with the government to provide uninterrupted electricity and expressed their willingness to pay higher tariff. The scheme aims to reduce industries’ dependence on diesel generators during power cuts, the official added.

Though industries are getting uninterrupted power in many places, tariff may not be premium. Even in Pune, urban consumers pay a extra for uninterrupted supply when  compared with rural consumers. The Ministry wanted to streamline this mechanism by extending the scheme to other big consumers through implementing pilot projects in various states, the official said. He said the ministry is threading cautiously on extending the scheme to domestic consumers as it wants to ensure that poor do not suffer. But the official said the challenge before the government in implementing the scheme is generating the required amount of power and infrastructure, including laying separate electricity lines to carry high voltage electricity. 

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