ERC trips LESA move
IN WHAT can be seen as a big relief to the power consumers, the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) today stayed LESA’s load enhancement exercise and ordered restoration of status quo ante. It issued similar directives to the Agra distribution company.
“All licenses are directed to undertake any load enhancement exercise only after due individual notice to consumers allowing them a period of 30 days to undertake necessary procedural formalities for legalizing enhancement of load or the option of withdrawing their excess load as required under the Electricity Supply Code,” ruled the commission’s full bench comprising chairman Vijoy Kumar and members PN Pathak and RD Gupta.
The commission’s move comes after the UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad (UPRVUP) petitioned it and submitted proofs of LESA having thrown all rules to the winds in increasing around 3,000 consumers’ load at one go.
Pulling up the power officials for increasing load without following the procedure laid down under the Electricity Supply Code, the commission directed the UPPCL and the MD, Lucknow discom, to restore status with respect to the connected load of individual consumers as prevailing prior to the January 26 notice.
This means that LESA will now decrease power load (to the original one) of all those consumers, whose load had recently been enhanced, without following rules. The commission said it had come to its knowledge that the deputy general manager, Circle-III, LESA, had issued orders for enhancement of load of domestic consumers from 1 KW to 3 KW on the basis of public notice in newspapers on September 22 last year. It was later withdrawn by the DGM on September 25.
“However, it has come to the commission’s knowledge that the said enhancement has now again been made effective, in terms of the provisions of the clause 6.9 of the ESC05 via public notice dated 26-1-06 without issuing individual notices to the consumers giving them an opportunity to either withdraw the load or accept the enhancement,” the commission observed. It added, “This act of the licensee is in contravention of the Section 171 of the Act as well as the clause 9.3 of the Electricity Supply Code”.
UPRVUP president Awadhesh Kumar Verma termed the commission’s ruling as a victory for consumers. He demanded LESA to immediately restore consumers’ load to what it was prior to its enhancing the same and make necessary corrections in bills.