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Thursday, July 02, 2020

UP sees power demand boost as industries get back on feet

This week, power consumption by industries in UP crossed 90 per cent of the average consumption recorded in February, when industrial activities were at the pre-pandemic levels.

Written by Liz Mathew | Lucknow | Published: May 29, 2020 1:19:34 am
Uttar pradesh energy demand, Uttar pradesh power demand, covid-19 lockdown impact on energy sector, coronavirus news, covid 19 tracker, electricity, power demand, power demand corona lockdown, indian express UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma. (File Photo)

Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a steady revival of economic activities after nearly two months of lockdown, power consumption figures by industry feeders in the state indicate.

This week, power consumption by industries in UP crossed 90 per cent of the average consumption recorded in February, when industrial activities were at the pre-pandemic levels.

The index of industry power consumption in the state on May 27 rose to 92 per cent of what was the daily average in February – up from 58.08 per cent 15 days ago. In February, consumption from 518 industry feeders in the state was 8.630 million units per day. On May 11, it dropped to 58.08 per cent of that, and rose back up to 7. 246 million unit on May 21, which is 83.96 per cent of the February demand.

On May 26 (Tuesday), it reached 88.8 per cent of the average utility of normal times, and on Thursday reached 92 per cent.

With industrial activities picking up, the state government has decided offer more support – to help not just the industrial belts but also promote villages to explore self-employment opportunities. According to state Power Minister Shrikant Sharma, his ministry has tweaked some rules for initiatives along the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement that the state would provide job opportunities for workers returning from other states.

Sources said nearly 25 lakh native workers from the state have already returned, and the number is expected to cross 30 lakh. Having already announced creation of special expert groups, including a migration commission to explore options for welfare of migrant labourers, the state government has promised that it would provide jobs for 20 lakh of them.

Having initiated a skill-mapping system for the returning workers, initial data collected by the UP government shows that those worst hit are contract workers, carpenters, artisans, etc.

Minister Sharma told The Indian Express: “The government wants to provide infrastructure for villages to start small ventures. From the Power Ministry, we have decided to provide 24×7 electricity supply in urban centres and in rural areas where line loss is less than 15 per cent.” So, he explained, any village that informs the Power Department that its line loss— which results mainly from power theft — is less than 15 per cent, “has to be provided 24×7 power supply within 48 hours”.

Sharma said the state government is also launching a massive campaign to make village councils, pradhans and members on creating self-employment opportunities, as also to increase public participation for this. “Our purpose is to provide the people opportunities within the state,” he said.

Earlier this week, Adityanath had announced that Uttar Pradesh would give jobs to all workers who have returned from other states, and if other states want to engage workers from UP, they would have to take permission from the state government.

The state government subsequently said it would not incorporate the prior permission clause in the migration commission bylaws.

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