UPPCL scraps consignment of Chinese smart meters over military standoff

In the past, the Parishad had complained about glitches in the smart meters being installed by the EESL in UP
Amid the growing chorus for the boycott of Chinese products following the border clash between the armies of the two countries, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has decided to scrap a consignment of Chinese smart meters.

The Chinese smart meters were procured by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) for installation at the premises of the state electricity consumers. Recently, a consignment of 8,000 smart meters supplied by an alleged Chinese shell company PT Hexing had reached the state capital.
Sources quoting UPPCL director (commercial) A K Srivastava said the corporation had decided against using Chinese meters in the state and directives had already been issued to field officials in this regard.

Smart meters are believed to improve energy efficiency through realtime monitoring and transmition of power consumption data.

Last week, a complaint was filed with state energy minister Shrikant Sharma alleging that a Chinese firm, Hexing Electrical Company Limited, had bid for the supply of the smart meters to EESL through its shell company, PT Hexing, based in Indonesia.

The complainant, UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhogta Parishad chairman Avadhesh Kumar Verma had also submitted documentary evidence claiming both the companies shared the same logo and that the Indonesian firm was merely acting as a conduit for the Chinese major to win the contract.

Later, Verma had directed the UP energy department principal secretary to institute an inquiry and take appropriate action in this matter.

While the Parishad has raised questions on the quality of the Chinese meters, he had also observed that under the prevailing circumstances, when there was a military standoff between the two Asian countries, the UP government should not allow a Chinese firm to supply the gadgets.

“We have urged the state to cancel the order of the Chinese smart meters and henceforth not allow any Chinese company to participate in the bidding process,” he told Business Standard.

In the past, the Parishad had complained about glitches in the smart meters being installed by the EESL in UP.

Last year, UP energy regulator had issued notice to UPPCL over the installation of smart meters based on old 2G and 3G technologies in the premises of consumers. The cost of installing 4 million smart meters across UP was at the time estimated at Rs 1,927 crore.

Hearing a petition filed by the Parishad against the installation of smart meters and modems based on old technologies, the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) had sought a detailed status report from the managing director of UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL).

The Parishad had urged the watchdog to review the matter as to why smart meters being installed were not based on latest 4G technology, even as 5G technology was projected to be introduced in India soon.

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