Torrent Power all set to light up Taj city

Private sector power giant Torrent Power Limited (TPL) is all set to take over the power supply in Taj city Agra from September 28. Agra will be the first experiment with privatisation of power distribution in the state.
It may be mentioned that Torrent has already bagged the power supply for both Agra and Kanpur under the franchisee model and had signed the MoU with the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) in May. However, in view of the stiff opposition of the power employees, the government has decided to Agra a test case, and then move to Kanpur.
The Taj city is among the few district headquarters in the state that gets uninterrupted power supply, as it falls in the Taj Trapezium Zone. The Supreme Court had directed the state government to provide uninterrupted power supply in Taj Trapezium Zone to save the celebrated monument from the pollution generated by gensets.
However, even as Torrent is gearing up to take over supply in Agra, a recent apex court statement, that the people of Agra are not special and that they cannot get 100% power supply when the rest of the country was trying to cope up with the severe shortage of power, may act as a `spoilsport'.
In this backdrop, it has to be seen if Agra faces heavy power cuts, how would Torrent manage to face the initial hiccups and fulfill the needs of the city.At present, the power tariff in the city is Rs 1.43 per unit whereas T&D losses are 42%.Despite a low revenue recovery, Torrent has to pay the state government Rs 1.96 per unit and has pledged to bring power losses down to 15% in next five years.
``The company will make sincere efforts to slash losses and earn profit and for that, it needs to spruce up the infrastructure. We will spend over Rs 200 crore in Agra and Rs 500 crore in Kanpur and will overhaul the system of billing and distribution,'' Murli Ranganathan, director Torrent Power had said at the signing of the MoU, adding that this would go a long way in improving the power supply.
According to UPPCL officials, the aim behind roping in private players is to improve the power scenario in the state, which is facing huge transmission loses and rampant power theft. ``The reason why we have chosen Agra and Kanpur to kick start our privatisation is that these cities face the highest T&D loses,'' said an UPPCL official.

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