The UT electricity department has drawn flak from the joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC) for continuing to procure power from bilateral sources at higher rates and not planning their power procurement well in advance despite the JERC repeated instructions.
The department has been reprimanded for purchasing power on bilateral agreements, which constitute more than 20% of the total power purchase. The power purchase rates in certain central generating stations like Dulhasti, Sewa 2, from where the UT electricity department purchases power, are on a higher side as compared to other sources in market.
The JERC, in May 2012, had directed the electricity department to make long-term agreements and to avoid short-term power purchases from bilateral sources.
Showing scant regards for the orders, the UT electricity department is said to have failed to make long-term power purchase agreements to meet its base requirements and rather it continued dependence on short-term power purchases by paying higher rates to meet the present shortage.
In 2013-14, the department intends to purchase 95 million units (MU) of power from bilateral sources while it had secured 120 MU in 2012-13.
The JERC has directed the department to compile a report showing the details of all short-term power purchases, including quantum, rate and grid frequency.
The commission also expressed its unhappiness on the electricity department's failure to undertake appropriate steps for power management. Besides, it took serious note of non-compliance of directions issued to conduct a detailed load forecasting study for short-term (2 to 5 years), medium-term (7 to 10 years) and long-term (15 to 25 years) in order to understand the load requirements during different periods.
According to sources, the department faces shortage of power during the summer season while it has surplus power in winters. The long-term power purchase agreements will lead to financial loss as the rates in summers and winters are different.
Despite repeated attempts, UT superintending engineer MP Singh was not available for comment.
Separate tariff category for slums
For streamlining electricity connections in unauthorised colonies, the UT electricity department has decided to create a separate category as single point delivery (SPD) for unauthroised colonies and slum dwellers.
For the new tariff categorisation, the electricity department had written to the JERC and the latter has directed the former to submit a report comprising number of consumers, load, consumption and status of metering for such consumers.
As per official record, 18 slums are spread in different parts of the city with a total of 23,974 houses and a population of more than 1.5 lakh. According to official figures, Colony Number 5 has maximum population living in 7,035 houses, followed by Colony Number 4 with 5,185 houses.
The slums in Chandigarh are: Ambedkar Colony, Gurusagar Colony, Janta Colony, Kabari Colony, Kalyan Colony, Kuldeep Colony, Kumhar Colony, Colony Number 4, Colony No. 5, LBS Colony, Madrasi Colony, Mazdoor Colony, Nehru Colony, Rajiv Colony, Sanjay Colony, Mauli Jagran, Shahpur Colony and Pandit Colony.