Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has stopped paying operation and maintenance (O&M) charges to the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) following the Punjab State Electricity Regularity Commission (PSERC) tariff order for 2016-17 which says the board overcharged Rs 946 crore from the corporation in seven years — from 2009 to 2016.
The PSPCL order says the recovery would be made by the PSPCL from BBMB on account of excess payment of O&M charges. “Under such circumstances, we can’t pay to the BBMB, otherwise the PSERC would haul us up,” said a senior PSPCL official.
The annual O&M charges are Rs 250 crore, including the manpower cost, of which Punjab’s contribution is 52% and the remaining is paid by Haryana.
After the order by the state power regulator, the BBMB has moved the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) for quashing it. “We have not overcharged at all,” member power BBMB VK Kalra told HT, adding that the appeal was pending with the APTEL, which BBMB moved for the second time.
In its order, the PSERC said the BBMB overcharged Rs 114.27 crore in 2012-13; Rs 128 crore in 2013-14; Rs 175.76 crore in 2014-15; Rs 191.09 crore in 2015-16; Rs 336.69 crore between 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
In the maiden appeal, the tribunal asked the BBMB to approach the PSERC. Unsatisfied, the BBMB again moved APTEL.
The order is awaited. “When it (BBMB) failed to prove our order wrong, we reiterated our order of overcharging,” said a PSERC functionary.
With situation getting murkier, PSERC chairman DS Bains (whose team worked out the overcharging) told HT that the power regulator would like the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to work out the O&M charges from 2003-09, 2009-14 and from 2014 to 19 all over again. “There’s certainly some discrepancy in calculations (by the BBMB) in the past,” he added, standing by his overcharge orders of 2016.