The floating of fresh tenders by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited for the procurement of smart meters has been questioned by the industry and power experts as the meters are based on 4G technology even as the 5G technology has been rolled out in India. Moreover, the tenders are for big clusters where only big players in the tender manufacturing industry can participate in the bidding process where one company will supply meters for one big city.
The UP power consumer forum has criticised the UPPCL for favouring big companies of the private sector. Chairman of the forum Avadhesh Verma said the cancellation of the tenders to Adani group has created a flutter among the smart meter manufacturing companies. He said the GMR has quoted fresh price of the smart meters in its tenders to the UP Purvanchal power distribution company as it reduced the price by 7 per cent (Rs 585 crore).
Verma said the UPPCL must make a clear provision in the tender document that only 5G smart meters would be installed as the 4G technology is fast getting obsolete.
He said by the time the tender process was finalised, the 5G technology would be rolled out across Uttar Pradesh. He said the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) had installed 12 lakh smart meters based on 2G technology when 4G technology was rolled out across the country.
He said the UPPCL has asked the EES to upgrade the technology to 4G and the company is asking for the upgradation charges of Rs 120 crore. Power regulator UP State Electricity Regulatory Commission had directed the companies supplying smart meters to upgrade the meters, but the directions have not been complied with so far