At a time when the Aam Aadmi Party has promised cheaper power to Delhi’s citizens, state-run Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has warned the government of the national capital that it will snap power supply to the city if dues of Rs 381.21 crore are not cleared within a week.
In a notice sent to the new AAP government in Delhi, the DVC said it would stop supplying power to BSES Delhi's two distribution companies – BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and BSES Yamuna Power Limited – by February 22 if the amount is not paid.
DVC’s warning comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wondering at a conference on renewable energy how the AAP government in Delhi could promise cheaper power when the city is dependent on electricity from outside.
DVC’s chief public relations officer, M Vijay Kumar, confirmed on Monday that the notice had been sent.
"When BSES authorities did not reply to DVC’s letter sent 60 days back despite repeated reminders about the payment, the notice was sent under the DVC power purchase agreement’s regulations," Kumar said.
According to these regulations, all power bills have to be cleared within 60 days. The AAP, which recently scored a landslide victory in polls to the Delhi assembly, had promised in its election manifesto provide electricity at cheaper rates.
Delhi has a demand for 5,000 MW a day and is largely dependent on nearby states to meet its needs. Officials said DVC supplies 286 MW every day to BSES’s two distribution firms in Delhi.
Delhi received the notice close on the heels of a similar warning issued by the DVC to the Jharkhand government. Jharkhand has to pay over Rs 8,000 crore to the DVC.
The BSES, which is owned by Reliance ADAG, distributes electricity to nearly 34 lakh customers across two-thirds of Delhi.
The row over dues snowballed into a controversy when the DVC began reducing power supply to seven districts of Jharkhand in June last year. Union power minister Piyush Goyal intervened in the matter by writing a letter to the Jharkhand government regarding the clearing of the DVC’s dues.
After the BJP came to power in Jharkhand following elections held late last year, it cleared some of the dues of the DVC but power continues to be cut in seven districts of the state.
The total arrears of the Delhi government include the pending bills of Rs 94.45 crore for September and November 2014. The DVC 's thermal power plants at Mejia in West Bengal and Chandrapura in Jharkhand supply 131.76 MW and 175. 69 MW respectively to Delhi every day.