Delhi’s private power distributors are in trouble again.
In what is being viewed as its most significant directive, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Thursday ordered a physical verification of all the assets that private power companies claimed to have purchased in eight years to build a robust infrastructure and showed it as capital expenditure.
If the verification finds that discoms exaggerated their expenditure figures, the extra amount will be adjusted through altering the power tariff.
In other words, power tariff may get slashed substantially.
“Consumers have always complained discoms did not upgrade substations, transformers, etc, and breakdowns were increasing,” said DERC secretary A.K. Tewary. “Now we will know if discoms overstated the figures.”
As per the agreement, the discoms — North Delhi Power Limited and BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna — get an assured 16 per cent return on their capital expenditure. This amount is usually realised through an increased power tariff, although the government may pick up the tab and offer subsidy without impacting tariff.
Together the discoms claimed to have put in place infrastructure worth Rs 6,000 crore.
DERC has appointed Hydera-bad-based Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) for the exercise. The ASCI will check purchase orders and actual delivery of each asset, entry of such assets in the register, installation on site, location and more.
“We are open to any scrutiny,” said a BSES spokesman. An NDPL spokesman refused to comment.