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Home News Power Sector News Delhi CM wants private discoms to pay fine for intentional power cuts

Delhi CM wants private discoms to pay fine for intentional power cuts

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Delhi CMDelhi Chief minister Sheila Dikshit has directed principal secretary (power) Rajendra Kumar to write to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) asking for implementation of the clause to slap a fine on private discoms including Reliance Infra for power cuts. Dikshit informed the cabinet of the decision. It was unanimously welcomed by all ministers, said a source.

Power department sources say the move has been triggered by persistent reports of powercuts when there is no power shortage in the city. The commission has been asked to "investigate the attitude'' of discoms and impose "exemplary penalties'' for unexplained and long power cuts. According to sources, the CM, however, did not clarify in the cabinet meeting what would be deemed as a "long power cut''.

The ministers are believed to have told the CM that the fact that some power cuts are not unavoidable has been proved conclusively several times as "names-dropping'' solves the problems. "It is common experience that if an influential person calls or approaches some senior discom official, the matter is resolved within no time. Hence, it is obvious that loadshedding is also happening when there are other options. This is not acceptable. Moreover, it is only areas under BSES which seem to have a perpetual problem, but NDPL areas are doing fine. This again raises the suspicion about the performance of the discom,'' said a source.

Meanwhile, DERC officials maintain that they have already initiated a probe into the issue of power crisis in June and what triggered the problem, hinting that penalising discoms for deficiency in services was definitely not ruled out. The power regulator has sought reports of all the transactions in power purchase and sale by all the three discoms during the crisis period to assess whether the crisis could have been avoided.

"Details of discoms' power transactions have been sought and sent to State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) for verification. Only after this, we will pass an order accordingly,'' said a senior official. Initial investigation suggests that power was available and some discoms were not willing to bid high to procure power.

While the decision to penalise discoms may bring some relief to power-starved Delhiites, the powercuts are back since the rains have stopped once more and the temperature is on the rise.

This is not the first time that something of this nature has been discussed. Some time back, the state cabinet had proposed to slap a fine on discoms for unscheduled powercuts, and the money thus collected was to be handed over to the affected consumers. The proposal was welcomed unanimously, but it never saw the light of day, leaving Delhi at the mercy of discoms.

Source- Times of India

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