Delhi: Penalty for unscheduled power cuts unlikely to be implemented this year
According to the draft regulation, a penalty of Rs 50 per hour per consumer was to be levied for the first two hours followed by Rs 100 for every subsequent hour.delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2017 17:14 IST
Lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal may be batting for compensating consumers for unscheduled power cuts, but implementing the proposal is going to be an uphill task.
Even if the L-G on Wednesday agreed with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s policy of making distribution companies liable to pay consumers for untimely power cuts, its implementation will not be possible until the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) notifies the regulation.
Besides, it is unlikely that the DERC will be able to notify the policy this summer as the entire regulation will have to be re-drafted. “The entire process of inviting suggestions and objections from public and stakeholders will have to be done again. On analyzing the comments, there may be a need for amends in the policy. So, the process will take some time,” a DERC official said.
L-G Anil Baijal after his meeting with Kejriwal also said that there was a need to make the compensation policy more enforceable. “Met CM @ArvindKejriwal. Discussed issue of power cuts & compensation to consumers. Suggested to devise a rational,fair & enforceable model,” he tweeted.
Following this, Kejriwal also tweeted saying, “Hon’ble LG agreed DISCOMS shud pay compensation 4 unscheduled power cuts 2 make them accountable. Fairplay n equity 2 consumers 2 be ensured.”
In June 2015, the Delhi government issued directions to the DERC to penalise discoms for unscheduled outages. Accordingly, the regulator in May, 2016, issued an order to the discoms to compensate consumers up to Rs 100 per hour for unscheduled outages extending up to two hours. The policy was not implemented as a gazette notification was awaited.
However, in August 2016, the regulation was declared null and void after the government’s proposal was struck down by the Delhi high court for not having the L-G’s approval.
According to the draft regulation, a penalty of Rs 50 per hour per consumer was to be levied for the first two hours followed by Rs 100 for every subsequent hour.
The fine amount was proposed to be adjusted in the consumers’ monthly bills.
The policy stated that if any consumer approached the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) after 90 days with a complaint that he or she had not received his compensation, DERC would have to ensure payment to all consumers affected by that power cut.
Sources said that the government is hopeful that the DERC would smoothly notify the regulations as the three-member commission currently has only one person, BP Singh. The post of chairperson and other member is lying vacant nearly a year now.