Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) is going to replace the general high tension (HT) and low tension (LT) power lines with insulated aerial bundled cables (ABC) over a distance of 2115 km in various parts of the state. The project is to be completed by December this year.
Out of this , ABC lines over 1871 km will be funded by the Centre to the tune of Rs 631 crore under restructured accelerated power development reforms programme scheme. Under this scheme, 31 small towns are to be covered in the districts of the state with ABC lines.
The Centre will provide 90 per cent share of the total cost. In the remaining 244 km area, the state government will instal ABC lines. The plan is to take loan from Power Finance Corporation.
Earlier to this, the department had also installed ABC lines over 340 km in some parts of Haridwar, Ladour, Vikasnagar and Haridwar. Under this new project, Dehradun will be included. Some more pockets of Vikasnagar, Rishikesh, Uttarakashi and Srinagar will also be taken up besides the 10-km stretch in Pauri and Tehri.
Elated with astounding results where incidents of power pilferage could be effectively controlled with the use of these cables, Executive Director, UPCL, Anil Kumar, said:'' The major problem of power thefts has reduced drastically with the installation of ABC lines in those areas where these were installed earlier. People who were stealing power by taking unauthorised connections, popularly known as katia connection, from the general power lines are unable to do so now.'' The insulated material coated over ABC lines makes it virtually impossible to use it for katia connection. Since the cases of power theft come mostly from rural areas, in the second phase, the department is going to cover rural pockets as well in the targeted districts.
The expenditure over time consuming exercise of pruning trees will also not be required for ABC lines. ''The trees near high tension/low tension wires are pruned before monsoon each year because their branches can lead to short-circuits or power breakdown and even snapping of lines. The ABC cables are immune from short-circuit if these come in contact with trees or winds. The department will be able to save time, money and utilise its staff for better purposes,'' said Kumar.
He also added that the incidents of people dying of electrocution by coming in contact with HT/LT lines would also stop. In Dehradun city itself, there are many residential areas where multi-storey houses have been built under the LT/HT lines, flouting regulations framed in this regard. Several incidents about death due to electrocution have been happening quite frequently. The project has come as a boon for the people of these localities.