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Adani, GMR, L&T and IntelliSmart bid for prepaid smart meter tenders worth Rs 23,000 cr in UP

The tenders, floated by 4 power distribution companies in the state, are part of the Modi govt's all-India push to upgrade and improve the power distribution network in India.

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New Delhi: Several Indian corporate giants, such as the Adani Group, GMR Group, L&T, and IntelliSmart, have submitted bids for tenders floated by four power distribution companies (discoms) in Uttar Pradesh for the installation of around 2.85 crore prepaid “smart meters” across the state, an industry insider aware of the developments told ThePrint.

The cumulative estimated value of the tenders is Rs 23,000 crore. The last date for submission of bids was 17 October, 2022.

The tenders are part of an overall all-India push to upgrade and improve the power distribution network in India, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi having launched the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) on 30 July, 2022.

According to the Ministry of Power, the RDSS is “a reforms-based and results-linked scheme with an outlay of Rs 3,03,758 crore over a period of five years from FY2021-22 to FY2025-26 with the objective to improve the quality, reliability and affordability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally-efficient distribution sector”.

Under the scheme, the Centre plans to replace 25 crore traditional meters across India with smart meters. The Phase 1 efforts for this include replacing 10 crore meters in areas where discoms are facing high losses and where there are high-value customers, by December 2023. The remaining areas will be addressed by March 2025.

In UP, Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam (DVVNL), Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam (PuVVNL), Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam (PVVNL), and Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam (MVVNL) have floated tenders.

DVVNL floated a tender for installing 79.16 lakh smart meters at an estimated cost of Rs 4,576.11 crore; PuVVNL for 77.5 lakh smart meters at an estimated cost of Rs 7,452.67 crore. PVVNL floated a tender for 66.84 lakh smart meters at an estimated cost of Rs 5,517.77 crore, and MVVNL floated a tender for 61.73 lakh smart meters at an estimated cost of Rs 5,454.86 crore.

The scope of work, an industry official told The Print, includes installing smart meters and other systems, and managing the meter data, cloud services, communications, and billing systems.

According to him, while the Adani Group, GMR Group and L&T have submitted bids for all four tenders, IntelliSmart has done so for only those floated by PVVNL and MVVNL.

In a related development, Adani Transmission Thursday announced that it had won a bid for a tender by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to install 10.8 lakh smart meters and related communication and cloud infrastructure in Mumbai over the next 30 months.

Also read: If there’s one Gujarat model we must replicate, it’s the power sector reforms one

UP has installed the maximum meters

So far, as part of the national rollout plan, around 50 lakh smart meters have already been installed across several states, the official explained, with the highest number having been installed in UP, followed by Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Assam, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Jammu & Kashmir.

UP’s large population (around 20 crore) has meant that even though it has installed the highest number of smart meters in the country so far, at 11.5 lakh it still falls behind in terms of percentage of meters covered.

“Taking a lead in smart metering, Bihar has already replaced around 92 per cent of meters with smart prepaid meters,” the official said. “The state has installed over 11 lakh such meters.” The smart meter roll-out in Bihar is believed to be showing phenomenal results.

“The prepaid functionality of smart meters has ensured 100 per cent recovery of arrears in divisions with high penetration of smart meters. Like Bihar, the impact of smart metering has been encouraging in J&K also,” he added.

(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)

Also read: You thought power subsidy is a Delhi-Punjab problem? Check out Tamil Nadu’s power sector mess

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