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Lights out: Link between politics and electricity in India

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Lights out: Link between politics and electricity in India

Last updated: April 24 2014
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  • Lights out: Link between politics and electricity in India

    The study highlights two big challenges in the world's most populous democracy: corruption and wobbly infrastructure. Both are frequently blamed for the recent slowdown in India's economy — a major issue in the ongoing general elections.

    Min said the study showed incumbent candidates were more likely to be re-elected if power losses were allowed to increase.

    “Political factors affect line losses in ways that technical and economic factors alone cannot explain,” said Min, who analysed data from the 2002 and 2007 elections in UP.

    Min said because power companies such as the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd were state-owned, they were beholden to the interests of elected officials.

    The study said 29% of all power sent out from 1970 to 2010 in UP was unbilled. Moreover, rates of line loss in UP are higher now than in the 1970s, despite numerous policy interventions, regulatory reforms and increased efforts to prosecute power theft.

    Line losses were highest in western Uttar Pradesh, home to strong political families.

    In Hathras and Mainpuri districts, 50% of the power is being lost or not billed, the research found. In contrast, the lowest line loss was in Gautam Buddha Nagar at 13.6%. Gautam Buddha Nagar includes Noida, a commercial area with several multinational company offices and thousands of apartment complexes.

    According to the study, the immediate need to win votes overlooks the systematic challenges that take money and time to solve.

    Source: HT

    My view:Tax payers keep subsidising the losses.Losses keep acumulating but leaders never bother.The whole structure will one day collapse. Strong steps are needed to stem this.
    Last edited April 24 2014, 08:20 AM.
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