Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the power regulator has approved the voluntary disclosure scheme (VDS) for domestic supply, small power/medium supply and agriculture power consumers to increase their power loads, a major demand of the farming community.
With water level going down every year, farmers resort to use of submersible pumps to pump water, which consumes more than two time electricity than traditional water pumps. Thus, farmers were facing threat of penalty, as most of them switched to submersible pumps, without making addition to their sanctioned power load.
Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) on Monday allowed the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to introduce the VDS.
The VDS scheme shall be initially introduced for a period of two months and will be extended by one month depending upon the response of consumers.
During the pendency of the scheme, there will not be checking of connected load and no penalty will be levied for unauthorized extension of load.
As per the proposal, the PSPCL will allow 20 per cent rebate on service connection charges for the consumers. Service charges shall be applicable on extended load only. The augmentation of service line/ transformer shall be done by the PSPCL.
In case of agriculture consumers, the total load shall not exceed 20 BHP and for load exceeding 20 BHP, metered supply shall be given. Small and medium power consumers shall be allowed to declare the unauthorised load to the extent of 100 per cent, provided there is no change of category.
Earlier also, there had been a very good response to the voluntary disclosure scheme for voluntarily disclosing unauthorized load by various category consumers.
In view of the fact that most of the farmers have unauthorised load, farmer unions during various protests and at meeting with the government, were demanding VDS for the farming sector.
"It's a welcome move. Now the farmers who had changed their tubewells to submersible motors, can get the benefit of the scheme", said Angrej Singh, a farmer leader.