In an order pronounced on Tuesday to revise power tariff, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has also pulled up both the state power utilities for not implementing its directives issued in the past.
Taking a strong exception to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL)'s inaction, the regulator said, "The power corporation is adamant in violating the provisions of the act citing financial constraints."
The issue relates to installing 100% meters for all consumers by the PSPCL and the boundary metering project by the Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL).
In the previous tariff order, the PSPCL was directed to achieve 100% metering as per Section 55 of the electricity act, 2003, within three months of the order, but it failed to submit any plan, says the PSERC. "It is a matter of serious concern that the licensee is adamant on violating the provisions of the act citing financial and administrative constraints. The PSPCL is again directed to utilise liberal funding available under the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana of the union ministry of power to fulfil the mandate," said the directive.
Earlier, the PSPCL had claimed that installing meters for about 12 lakh consumers is a huge task, and required an expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore. The PSERC has been asking the PSPCL to install meters for all consumers, including agriculture pump sets which get power free of cost. The regulator has been pressing the PSPCL to record every unit consumed by the agriculture sector so that there is no pilferage and the state exchequer is not burdened with additional cost of finding free power more than the actual consumption.
The PSERC, in its order, has also brought on record that the PSPCL is not following practice of periodic check of meters due to which the consumers are made to pay huge amounts in case of a fault.
Pulling up the PSTCL, the PSERC has said, "Completion of boundary metering project has already been over-delayed and the PSTCL has failed to implement the project in the committed revised timeframe." In its order given last year, the PSERC had asked the transmission corporation to submit the actual transmission losses.
The PSTCL, in its reply to the PSERC, has said that the overall transmission losses will be provided by June 30, 2015, along with the data for at least six months as desired by the commission for analysis of losses. The PSERC had also pointed out that the transmission lines were not sufficient to carry the load of the power generated in the state. Apart from that the PSERC has also asked the PSTCL to submit the actual transmission losses on a monthly basis by June this year.