Seeking dismissal of a public interest litigation that complained of inflated electricity bills to consumers, the Delhi Government has told the high court that the power situation in the Capital became much better after distribution was privatised as compared to the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB)
“When the DVB existed, approximately 4.9 percent load shedding of electricity was faced by the consumers. Presently, the percentage of load shedding has come down to only 0.3% which indicates a clear improvement as compared to the era of DVB,” said an affidavit filed by Alka Sharma, deputy secretary in the Delhi government’s department of power.
A bench headed by chief justice D Murugesan will take a stand on the affidavit on March 8, the next date of hearing. The affidavit was, however, evasive on the issue of inflated power bills, fast running faulty meters and the steps proposed to tackle the problem, the prime issue raised by a public interest litigation.
On the demand that power tariff should be determined through a bidding process among power companies offering to distribute electricity, the government said that as per section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003, guidelines have to be issued by the government of India.
The government also steered clear of all blame on fixing tariff, saying it was the job of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission(DERC).
The affidavit was filed in response to a PIL filed by a lawyer Sugriva Dubey, who complained of inflated power bills and faulty electric meters that had triggered massive protests last summer.
The PIL sought compensation to the consumers. Dubey requested the court to direct the government and the discom to stop the recovery of incorrect bills issued to the consumers. He alleged in the petition that BSES Yamuna was issuing incorrect bills and people were compelled to deposit the inflated amount failing which power was being disconnected.
The meters installed by the company are very fast and are giving unreasonable and incorrect readings, the plea said, adding the company issued bills “without verifying the defective meters” and also “without replacing the fast meters”.
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