World Oldest city Goes Wireless – Wire Mukt Varanasi

In a significant development, PM Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, has now become a wireless city. The development replaces the complex ugly web of wires that were visible in most of the city’s crowded and narrow intersections. The move to replace the conventional wires with LED lights and the gradual shift to underground cabling was done under the Integrated Power Development Scheme.

The Integrated Power Development Scheme was launched in November 2014 with the objective of strengthening sub-transmission and distribution network in urban areas, metering of distribution transformers/feeders and consumers among urban areas. The project was conceived to enable IT in the distribution sector which would work towards strengthening of the distribution network. The overall benefit of the scheme is to help in the reduction in commercial losses. Among other issues, the IPDS scheme would facilitate the establishment of IT enabled energy accounting through improvements in billing energy which is again based on metered consumption and improvement in collection efficiency.

The work for laying underground cables in the densely populated Varanasi began in December 2015 and the then Union Minister of State for Power and Coal, Piyush Goyal had announced the project worth Rs. 432 crores. This scheme was later merged into the IPDS. Piyush Goyal had set an ambitious target and had announced that the project would be done in a year, despite the scheduled timeline being capped at two years. The underground cabling has come at a time when the ancient city celebrates its 86 years since electrification in 1932.