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LESA struggles to justify drive

LUCKNOW ELECTRICITY Supply Administration (LESA) officials? arguments justifying their rather surreptitious power load enhancement drive are neither legally tenable nor factually correct.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 01:05 IST
HT Live Correspondent
HT Live Correspondent

LUCKNOW ELECTRICITY Supply Administration (LESA) officials’ arguments justifying their rather surreptitious power load enhancement drive are neither legally tenable nor factually correct.

After being cornered from all sides on the issue, the LESA officials have now started issuing press releases to selective newspapers. They are justifying the load enhancement of power connections of around 3,000 consumers at one go in the Circle-3 comprising Aishbagh, Alambagh, Kanpur Road, Ashiyana and others.
Aishbagh Division executive engineer, Vijay Kumar Kaushik, for example, sent press releases to some news papers on Friday. Trying to defend his action of increasing 2400 consumers’ load under his division, Kaushik said that load had been increased on the basis of maximum demand shown by their meters in December which they claimed was justified under Section 6.9 of Electricity Supply Code-2005. The argument is, however, misleading.

Clause (ii) of Section 6.9 of the Supply Act says “Consumer shall be advised to get the load enhanced within 30 days of detection excess load. However, the consumer shall be charged for excess load for the period of notice or date of removal of excess load, whichever earlier. In case of non compliance after 30 days the licensee shall merge the excess load with the prior sanctioned load for three billing cycles—-““ Clearly, it is binding on the licencee to serve a 30-day notice on the consumer if he is found using load more than the sanctioned one before taking any action.

An important question here arises if notices were served on the consumers. Kaushik says he had issued an appeal to the people in a Hindi daily on January 26, 2006, saying that 2400 consumers had been found using excess load and advising them to get their load enhanced. Their load was increased by LESA only when they did not volunteer, he pleaded.

But can a newspaper appeal to 2,400 consumers without even mentioning their names be treated as a notice?

Whatever their compulsions, such an appeal can never be treated as a notice under the Electricity Act 2005 which is the only electricity law to be guided by.
The clause 2 of the Section 171 of the Act says, “Every notice required to be addressed to any person may be served on him by delivering the same after obtaining signed acknowledged receipt thereof or by registered post or such means of delivery as may be prescribed.” It further says that the notice should be affixed on the conspicuous part of the premises if the address is not available.

Evidently, all these rules were given a go-by by the officials.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 01:05 IST