Delhi RWAs, discoms angry over delay in appointing chief for electricity regulator
The talks between the government and the Lieutenant Governor over compensating consumers for unscheduled power outages has brought the spotlight back on the commission as it needs to draft the policy and notify it.delhi Updated: Jun 10, 2017 23:26 IST
Seven months after the Delhi government cancelled the appointment of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairperson Krishna Saini, the regulator continues to be run by a single member.
The delay in the appointment of a new chairperson and member in the three-member commission has upset distribution companies and resident welfare associations (RWAs) alike.
The DERC fixes electricity tariff and makes other important power-related decisions.
The talks between the government and the Lieutenant Governor over compensating consumers for unscheduled power outages has brought the spotlight back on the commission as it needs to draft the policy and notify it.
After the discoms voiced their concerns, RWAs have now come together demanding that the government should begin the process of filling up vacant posts in the commission at the earliest.
The United Residents of Delhi (URD), a group of RWAs, has alleged that the Delhi government is intentionally delaying the appointment process.
“DERC is an independent and a quasi-judicial body. The government can at least appoint the member (finance), whose job is the most important in DERC. Right now, all the work is directly on the bureaucracy of the commission,” said Saurabh Gandhi, secretary at URD.
Following former L-G Najeeb Jung’s revocation of then DERC chief Krishna Saini’s appointment, the government had on November 4 last year formally ousted him. The post has been lying vacant since then. A post of member has also been lying empty since February last year after JP Singh retired.
The organisation has written separate letters to L-G Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking for their intervention.
“The MYT Regulation and DERC Performance Regulation 2016, which was undertaken by the commission under Mr. Saini, was again notified in December 2016 and surreptitiously adopted without the due process of seeking public response and completion of procedure. The MYT regulation does not address major issues,” read the letter.
The government, which is against increasing power tariff in the city, denied the allegations and said the rules allow the commission to function even with a single member.
The discoms are unhappy because the capital hasn’t seen a tariff revision in two years. They claim their regulatory assets have already reached over Rs 12,000 crore.