More than a year after stopping it midway, Delhi’s power regulator has decided to restart the process of physical verification of assets of discoms, this time through a different technical agency.
The verification will involve auditors and engineers visiting every facility owned by the private power distribution companies to cross-check whether they have actually installed all the machinery worth thousands of crores of rupees they have been claiming to have installed all these years.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) will carry out the verification, picking up from where the Hyderabad-based Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) had left it in February, 2010.
Last year, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had given ASCI a month’s time to complete such a mammoth process.
In an interim report submitted in January 2010, the auditors had said that after visiting the premises of BSES Rajdhani, they had found that in some cases serial numbers of many of the equipments did not match those entered in the records.
All the expenditure in machinery and such works are ultimately borne by the power consumers through tariff after the DERC approves them.
“This time we will complete the process. North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) was not assessed last time, and the unfinished verification of other discoms will also be carried out,” said PD Sudhakar, chairman, DERC.
Refusing to draw any conclusion from last year’s incomplete verification, the auditors had sought more time to finish their job. But for reasons best known to the DERC, the tenure of the task was not extended.
For the record, K Balarama Reddy, senior consultant with ASCI heading the verification says their engineers never found any assets missing
“There were some discrepancies in serial numbers but that happens because machines are sourced from various suppliers.
Reconciliation of serial numbers in record books often happens later. This does not necessarily point to any foul play,”
Reddy told Hindustan Times, adding, “We were given an awfully short time to complete the process.”