Powermen urge Modi 3.0 to shun privatisationPower sector

Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow

The Uttar Pradesh government is looking to spur competition in the electricity smart meter tendering to economise on cost by allowing more companies to participation in bidding.

So far, three government owned power distribution companies (discoms) viz. Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited and Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited have cancelled their bidding process over high prices quoted by private bidders including Adani and GMR group companies.

The remaining fourth discom Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited has not junked the bidding process since a public sector company Intellismart Infra is the lowest bidder. Intellismart Infra is a joint venture of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

Earlier, the four discoms viz. Madhyanchal, Dakshinanchal, Purvanchal and Paschimanchal, representing different UP regions, had floated separate tenders for the supply of more than 25 million smart meters with the combined bid value of nearly Rs 25,000 crore.

The four discoms had floated tenders by clubbing all districts under their respective jurisdiction in four separate clusters. This invariably upped the bid value and made it exorbitant for small companies, including original smart meter manufacturers.

Now, the discoms are likely to divide their respective regions into 2-3 clusters to reduce bid value and enable more companies to participate in bidding. This would pull down cost for the discoms and ultimately benefit the end power consumers in the long run.

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In fact, Purvanchal discom has already floated a fresh tender after dividing its area into three clusters. Other discoms are likely to follow suit in the days and weeks to come.

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