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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Delhi power cos will pay for sitting on complaints

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 07, 2013
First Published: 00:26 IST(7/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:49 IST(7/3/2013)

Power equation is about to change in the Capital.

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Discoms will now have to pay consumers for delay in addressing their complaints — failed supply, burnt meter or a transformer snag. The fines may go up to Rs. 100 per day, or even more.

To make power companies more responsible, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) will be implementing the Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations 2013 by next month.

So, if a discom fails to test a meter, it will pay Rs. 25 for each day of delay. If the meter is been burnt and supply not restored within six hours, discoms will pay R50 for each day of default. The burnt meter will have to be changed within three days.

The supply code has suggested a fine of Rs. 50 per day if a supply failure — a blown fuse or tripping of the miniature-circuit breaker (MCB) — is not fixed within three hours. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/3/07_03_13-metro1.jpg

The compensation, however, is expected to be enhanced as the DERC is yet to finalise the amount.

The draft was being finalised after receiving comments from the state advisory committee as well as resident welfare associations, said DERC officials.

“We conducted public hearing for suggestions and objections... The idea is to have a system in place, which is consumer-friendly and to put certain parameters in place,” said DERC chairman PD Sudhakar.

Power firms would maintain a record of every complaint — supply failure, meters and bills — at the centralised complaint centre or local grievance cells, he said. “They will also have to give the consumer a complaint number,”  he said.

Discoms are under fire over "steep tariff" and poor service. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has accused them of fleecing consumers and has even threatened a hunger strike against "inflated" bills from March 23. Party colleague Manish Sisodia welcomed the move but was sceptical about implementation.

"This is certainly needed but will the DERC be able to implement it at a time when it is found to be working as an agent of these companies?" Sisodia told HT.

To address growing accusations of bogus power theft cases, the draft has suggested recording of such a complaint in the presence of a witness, who could be a neighbour.

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