‘Inefficient’ UPCL draws state govt flak

The government has censured the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) for its poor planning, irregularities in contracts, un-metered billing amid the state-owned entity facing rising liabilities of Rs 3135.38 crore and heavy losses taht reached Rs 1960.11 crore in the last financial year.

Stung by the adverse remarks mentioned in the Uttarakhand Accountant’ General’s draft performance audit report, the state power department has been asked to convene a special meeting of the UPCL’s board of directors to discuss the issue at the earliest.

It has also been directed to make a time-bound action plan for the bringing the company back on track.
The report has castigated the 2001-incorporated UPCL for its “poor planning” that is leading to overloading of transformers, causing frequent failures. This is because the transformation capacity has not been increased in accordance to the connected load, it said.

The AG also highlighted the UPCL’s whooping losses, which it said have reached Rs 1960.11 crore till 2010-11.

The power utility is facing a loss of 55 paise per unit. The company’s liabilities have also touched Rs 3135.38 crore now. Its revenue gap during the last financial year is Rs 398.29 crore. In this regard, the report said the UPCL has been “inefficient” in billing and recovery.

In the cases of non-payment of bills, the UPCL does not go for disconnection. Neither does it act when cheques are dishonoured, the report said.

The AG also took exception of the “weak” management over various contracts that are being given for regular works which often cause undue delays.

The report also took the UPCL to task for giving advances to contractors without any interests and imposing mild penalties on delaying of works. The UPCL also been reprimanded for issuing tenders without taking forest clearances.

Additional chief secretary Alok Kumar Jain, when asked, confirmed that he has asked the power secretary S S Sandhu to convene a special meeting of UPCL’s board of directors on the performance audit report.
Source: Business Standard

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