October 01, 2020

Power franchisee system ends in state

Patna: The North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited took over distribution work in Muzaffarpur town and some peripheral areas after the power firm terminated the franchise contract awarded to a private company in 2013.

With the termination of this contract, Bihar has finally done away with the franchise system in which private players used to be given power distribution work in certain areas. The beginning was done in this direction was made in 2013 when power distribution work was awarded to private players five years back and this system was introduced at three places – Muzaffarpur, Gaya and Bhagalpur.

While the franchise contract of Bhagalpur was cancelled in November last year, for Gaya it was done in July 2018 and now the same has been done with Muzaffarpur.

In the case of Muzaffarpur, a notice had been given to a private firm, Utilities Grid Solution Limited (erstwhile Essel Adi Smart Grid Solutions Limited) by the power company earlier but the company had moved Patna High Court challenging the notice.

The high court on August 2 issued a directive upholding the right of the power company to terminate the contract and said other claims would be settled through arbitration.

On the reason for ending the franchise contract in Muzaffarpur, a senior official in the power company said: “Our concern was related to implementation of projects related to rural electrification and household electrification. The franchise holder had refused to invest funds for these work and our agreement terms were a bit vague on this front. Hence, it was decided to end the franchise system.”

The private firm was undertaking power distribution work in Muzaffarpur town area and some peripheral areas like Sakra and Saraiya among others. Now NBPDCL would look after the power distribution work.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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