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Largest Indian State plays Feudal Politics with “Power”

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Politics & “Power” in India

Dirty Politics and blatant misuse of power is nothing new for Indian citizens but it has reached absurd levels in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh. Some districts in the state receive 24 hours power supply while some only get 8-10 hours. The discrimination is based on whether the district has elected an important leader for the ruling party. So top Samajwadi Party leaders like Mulayam Singh, Azam Khan and others manage to get 24 hours of electricity supply to their home districts, so does India’s ruling party at the center Congress. However if you are a UP citizen and don’t have a VVIP leader elected from your district you are faced with massive power cuts as UP suffers from a 20% power deficit.

Like other facets of Indian life, the feudal polity has not become ingrained in the power sector as the officials of the state electricity boards supply power to the districts based on the “power” of the ruling politician. Here are the problems faced by electricity and power companies in India.

Problems of Power Industry in India

The problems faced by the electricity companies in India are quite well known and those who did not, the biggest power blackout in human history would have brought it home (quite literally). The root cause of the problem is the Indian Government which has been stuck in paralysis for the last 2-3 years. The only time it shows some life is to defend itself from attacks by the opposition or to play political games to break an opposition group during some event like the Presidential elections. Rest of the time it is happy to let the country go under. India’s economic growth has been going downhill quite fast and the power industry has been one of the worst hit. The main problems are:

a) Lack of fuel as Coal India the monopoly producer is a den of waste and corruption. There is no coal to feed the new thermal power plants despite India sitting on hundreds and billions of coal reserves

b) The distribution and transmission sector owned by the government is a total mess

c) The coal industry has come under fire from the Auditor General for indulging in widespread corruption

d) Foreign governments have imposed duties and taxes on coal exports to India making the big power plants non-viable. The Reliance power plant being built in AP is now stuck as it is no longer feasible to supply power at the contracted prices at the current fuel cost

e) Gas power plants are stranded as well as domestic gas production has dived (as usual due to government incompetence and corruption).


Six districts — Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj, (represented by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and family) Rampur (represented by minister Azam Khan) and Amethi and Raebareli (represented by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, respectively) have been assured 24-hour supply of power, not just for electing the said representatives, but also because these areas ‘play host’ to many VIPs from time to time.

The Allahabad HC has admitted a PIL, challenging this demonstration of clout in a power deficit state. Even before UP was blamed for overdrawing from the northern grid, leading to a collapse of the grid on July 31, it has been a power starved state. According to figures accessed from UP Power Corporation, the peak restricted demand for the state is between 12,000-13,000 MW, with the availability (including sourced form private players who sell at merchant prices) is around 9,500-10,000 MW, a shortfall of nearly 3,000 MW.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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