Millennium Post
Delhi

‘Ensure uninterrupted power supply’

The government’s move comes after reports of load shedding by discoms in different parts of the capital, particularly in slums and JJ clusters. Power department, on the direction of power minister Satyendra Jain, has issued a written direction to the CEOs of all the three power distribution companies — Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna.

“Department has directed discoms to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply across the city with immediate effect,” said a senior official.

The government also said that a serious view will be taken by the power department in case the discoms resort to unreasonable excuses for load shedding.

“Discoms should ensure that consumer helpline numbers are active and these should be adequately reinforced to meet additional calls being received from consumers in the current scenario,” the power department has stated.

The discoms have also been directed that in case there are valid and justifiable reasons for load shedding, then, “It should be ensured that such load shedding at any level of shortage does not exceed one hour at a stretch and should be strictly on rotational basis in different areas and not only in slums and JJ clusters.” The department has also directed the discoms to widely advertise in advance, through different forms of media, in case they have to resort to load shedding and “any failure to strictly comply with these directions will lead to serious consequences”.

Apart from that, the discoms have been directed to present contingency plans for rotational load shedding at different levels of shortage.

DERC starts process of revising power tariffs

Delhi’s power regulator DERC has started the process of revising the tariff for the year 2015-16 at a time when it is engaged in a showdown with the AAP government over a series of hike in power rates in the last couple of years.

Notwithstanding Delhi’s government’s clear indication to the DERC to not hike the tariff further, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission kick-started the process to review the existing rates.

On 25 March, during the Delhi Assembly session, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had accepted the demand to summon DERC chief to the Assembly after the MLAs alleged irregularity by discoms. “In the last 13 years, DERC has not been working for the public interest, so the functioning of DERC must be reviewed,” said Dinesh Mohania, AAP MLA.

“The tariff determination process has started. We are going ahead with the process,” said, DERC Chairman P D Sudhakar. Top DERC officials said that the commission is a quasi-judicial body and is “totally independent” to review the rates after reviewing cost of power and financial condition of the private power distribution companies.

The AAP government has been critical of the DERC and had asked it to explain the tariff hike implemented by it in the last couple of years, while indirectly asking it not to undertake any fresh tariff determination process before the Comptroller and Auditor General completes audit of the discoms.

Power tariff was a major issue for AAP during their campaign for Delhi polls. The Kejriwal government had announced a 50 per cent subsidy on monthly power consumption of up to 400 units in February, till the government receives the CAG report on financial condition of the discoms. In its first stint, the AAP government had ordered a CAG audit of all the three discoms, claiming that they have been misleading the government and the DERC about their financial position. The city has seen a series of hike in power tariff in the past few years.

The tariff was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011, followed by five per cent hike in February 2012. The tariff was increased by up to two per cent in May 2012 year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012. It was hiked by up to three per cent in February 2013 and again by five per cent in August last year. It was again enhanced by up to seven per cent in November last year.

BSES spokesperson, however, claimed: “We are fully prepared to meet the peak power demand during summer in the licensed areas, and our consumers will not face any sort of load-shedding.”
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