The Delhi government has said that it has sent a proposal to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to penalise discoms which allow load-shedding multiple times in a day.
The move comes in the backdrop of the Delhi government protesting against DERC clearing a fuel surcharge that will lead to an increase in power bills for the residents of Delhi. Delhi has three power distribution companies for different parts of the city — BSES Rajdhani Power Limited, BSES Yamuna Power Limited and Tata Power.
According to a senior Delhi government official, the power department believes that the discoms have been inefficient in tackling power cuts and the proposal has sought to introduce a system of levying penalty on discoms on a daily basis rather than monthly.
Confirming the move, power minister Satyendra Jain told HT that the proposal is likely to be cleared this month, with a provision of a hefty fine.
“Power discoms need to be more efficient and their careless attitude will not be tolerated as far as power cuts are concerned. We have sent a detailed proposal to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and we will implement it soon”.
He further said AAP government has proposed that the penalty for power cuts, which is imposed on a monthly basis, will be converted into a daily one. “The penalty has to be quite hefty to ensure they deliver. Privatisation in power was done to ensure discoms provide us uninterrupted power supply. But come summer and power cuts become a routine exercise,” added Jain.
So far, the discoms can be penalised if the power disruption of an area exceeds 1% of the total energy supplied during a month. According to sources, due to the average calculation even if certain areas face power cuts for a few hours it does not make the total power cut energy more than 1% of the month. “Due to this penalty is rarely imposed on power discoms for power cuts,” said a senior Delhi government official.
A senior DERC official confirmed that a proposal has been received and they were examining the matter.
In its order issued by the power regulator on Friday to increase the fuel surcharge it has also pointed out that the discoms should use the additional funds which they will get through the increase to be more efficient in their functioning.
Recently, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had held a meeting to discuss the issue of penal action to be taken against power discoms for load-shedding during the summer season. The government had also ordered a CAG audit of the power discoms, during its 49-days stint, which it claims is nearing completion.