Discoms non-compliant, regulator seeks Haryana govt intervention
Faced with resentment among electricity consumers, the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has asked the state government to intervene to ensure compliance of its orders by the stateowned distribution companies in the interest of consumers in the state.punjab Updated: Jan 21, 2016 12:13 IST
Faced with resentment among electricity consumers, the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has asked the state government to intervene to ensure compliance of its orders by the stateowned distribution companies in the interest of consumers in the state.
The two-member commission, in a letter to additional chief secretary, power, said the commission had issued directives to the two distribution utilities — Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) — in its tariff and performance review orders to improve efficiency, reduce technical and commercial losses and ensure economies of operation and customer satisfaction, but no action has been taken to date.
“There is resentment among the consumers in the state regarding non-compliance of the directives of the commission by the distribution companies as they have high operations and maintenance cost, technical and commercial losses, etc, resulting in an increase in tariff,”the commission wrote to the state government on January 14, asking UHBVN and DHBVN to implement its orders.
The two distribution companies (discoms), ridden with poor planning, inadequate distribution network, high line losses and low revenue realisation, are a drag on the state exchequer. The present government has been talking of according top priority to the sector and taken a few steps such as ‘Mhara Gaon, Jagmag Gaon’ to try and set things right, but there has not been significant improvement in most of these areas so far.
The consumer satisfaction levels continue to be an area of concern, especially the fact that the state companies, despite being power surplus, are unable to ensure uninterrupted supply to consumers due to constraints in the distribution system. The state’s own generation capacity, which was augmented in the last one decade, is kept idle for months and surplus power is sold to other states at a loss.
The consumers, while participating in a public hearing three months ago, had raised the noncompliance issue with the commission. The distribution companies, according to the power regulator, had agreed to meet the revenue shortfall by reducing the operations and maintenance (O&M) cost through reduction in equipment failure (transformer damage, etc) rate, salaries due to outsourcing of O&M activities and cost on account of automated meter reading and spot billing.
The total saving on account of these interventions was estimated to be Rs 227 crore. “Moreover, the commission, during various meetings and through numerous correspondences, had directed the two companies to comply with the directives, but no action has been taken by them to date,”it stated, seeking early action on all such pending issues.
While the two power utilities have been making commitments to curb line losses, cut costs and improve efficiency levels for several years, they have not delivered, incurring financial losses and accumulating huge debt. The financial health of these companies has deteriorated over the years and they bank on the state government to bail them out.