Haryana has started the new year on a bright note as its Panchkula district and 173 villages will get 24-hour power supply. Panchkula will be the first district in Haryana to have uninterrupted power supply in both its urban and rural areas. The good news shows that the state is progressing in its plans to provide 24×7 electricity to all districts.

Calling it a New Year gift from the government, the spokesperson of Haryana’s power utilities told IANS that 24×7 power supply will be given to “32 feeders of the Uttar and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigams, where line losses have dipped below 20 per cent.”

Panchkula has qualified to get 24-hour power because the losses of its power utility have dipped below 20% and enabled it to provide good quality power. Many power utilities across India are suffering from huge losses due to inefficiency, poor bill collection, and power theft. Poor condition of power utilities has been due to years of bad management and turning a blind eye to power theft. In 2015, Modi government launched the UDAY (Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme to turnaround the loss plagued power utilities. UDAY puts pressure on states to make their power utilities more efficient, which is only possible when they put an end to power theft. UDAY is already showing results with one of Haryana’s power utilities not only recovering its losses, but posting a profit for the first time since it was created. Read more about this success story and the UDAY scheme here

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The UDAY scheme attacks the problem of power theft by involving the citizens in helping the government’s crackdown on culprits. Power theft requires both sides— the citizens and the state government, to play their parts in informing and punishing power theft. When states don’t reduce losses, they will not be able to supply 24×7 power, which is motivating states to proactively resolve the power utility losses. States which are able to stop power theft will reduce their losses, and can supply regular power.

States which are able to stop power theft will get regular power supply and high theft areas will suffer power cuts.This means that the Haryana government will succeed in its goal of providing 24×7 power to the whole state only when there is an end to power theft.

Last September, a group of rural women in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district successfully brought down losses by informing on those stealing power. This has shown to everyone how the Modi government’s UDAY scheme empowers the honest citizen to take action. For the first time, honest people are getting the chance to ensure that those indulging in power theft are punished.

As Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal has said about the achievement of demonetisation: “ईमानदारकासम्मान, बेईमानकानुकसान”, the same spirit of rewarding the honest and punishing the dishonest is true for the power sector. When we as honest citizens come together, we can accelerate the Modi government’s efforts in providing 24×7 power to every citizen of India.


Arushi Bahuguna

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