The lax approach of the Chandigarh electricity department yet again come to the fore as around 10,000 installed electricity meters are lying non-functional across the city. Besides, the department has also failed to comply with the direction of the Joint Electricity Regularity Commission (JERC) to replace over 50,000 existing mechanical meters with electronic ones.
With the department not strictly complying with the JERC Regulation, 2010, on meter reading and billing, the commission has taken a suo moto notice of the violation and has asked the department officials to appear before it on July 30.
The department recently submitted an affidavit on consumer meter reading and billing. Unhappy with the report, the commission observed that the status of mechanical and defective electronic and mechanical meters was not up to the mark and satisfaction.
It further stated that the department was required to replace all mechanical and nonworking meters without any further delay. The commission further instructed the department to submit a detailed and complete report, action plan and road map on consumer meter reading and billing category wise, number of consumers having mechanical meters and electronic ones, condition of meters, total meters required and phasewise replacement of defective and mechanical meters.
When contacted, UT superintending engineer MP Singh said they were in process of replacing the defective and mechanical meters. “Permission has been sought from the finance department to purchase 30,000 new meters - 20,000 single phase and 10,000 double-phase meters. We will place order for the meters soon after getting the nod,” he added.
Explaining the delay, Singh said the tenders floated in past could not materialise due to technical reasons.
DEPT SUFFERING LOSSES
According to officials of the electricity department, the defective and mechanical meters are adding to the losses. The department has been struggling to cut its transmission and distribution (T&D) loss.
As per an affidavit submitted before the commission, the present transmission and distribution losses of the department stand at 15.5%, which it aims to bring down to 15% in the current year. The department has set a target of reduction of losses to 14.5% in 2015-16 and to 14% by 2016-17.
The commission, recently, directed the department to conduct regular energy audit to substantiate its estimation of transmission and distribution losses and furnish six monthly energy audit reports to the commission.
The audit report of the first six months of the year is to be submitted by November.
The department has also been asked to undertake load flow study from an independent agency to ascertain losses in the existing network, along with recommendations for system strengthening and loss reduction. The commission has set November 30 as the deadline for the completion of the study. The report has to be submitted to the commission latest by December 26.