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War over tariff far from over

Delhites are gearing up for yet another war; this time in the courts, even as the DERC said that it wanted the discoms’ accounts to be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)—as has been the demand from the residents for long.

delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2011 00:35 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Delhites are gearing up for yet another war; this time in the courts, even as the DERC said that it wanted the discoms’ accounts to be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)—as has been the demand from the residents for long.

But not wanting to accept the tariff hike, resident welfare associations have decided to challenge the order at the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity and if need be, go up to the Supreme Court.

“We will go to the courts for sure. We are preparing the petition. This order goes against the spirit of the Electricity Act,” said Hemanta Sharma, member of the Lajpat Nagar RWA.

While accepting a long-standing demand of the RWAs for the CAG audit, the DERC admitted in the order: “In deference

to public opinion, the commission has decided to reiterate its recommendation to the Delhi government for CAG audit of discoms from 2007-08 onwards.”

But there is a catch.

The matter is now being heard at the high court, which will decide whether or not the companies can be audited by the CAG.

“We have given our recommendations, but now the matter will be decided by the high court,” said DERC chairman PD Sudhakar.

Regarding the defence offered by discoms that they are private entities outside the ambit of the CAG, the order said, “Even though the discoms are private companies, an exception can be made since 49% shareholding is with Delhi government and a precedence exists where CAG audit of private telecom companies was carried out.”

The DERC is also getting the Institute of Chartered Accountants to carry out a physical verification of the assets of the discoms to see if the companies have actually purchased all the materials they have showed in the books.

“All these measures will create more transparency in the sector and will prove to be beneficial for the consumers as well,” said JP Singh, DERC member.