Reliance Infrastructure-owned power distribution companies, BSES Rajdhani (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna (BYPL), on 06-02-2013 moved the Supreme Court against power generator NTPC's ultimatum on cutting their supplies next week over a payment default. The two BSES companies face the prospect of cancellation of their licences.
The two discoms, which supply power to 75 per cent of the national capital's 3.4 million consumers, filed a writ petition seeking the apex court's intervention on the issue of outstanding dues to NTPC and an appropriate direction to the competent authority (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission or DERC) for recovery of regulatory assets (unrecovered payments from customers) worth Rs 14,900 crore. The discoms asked the apex court to club the petition with an ongoing case filed by DERC against the discoms last November in a related issue of liquidation of the regulatory assets. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, before whom the matter was mentioned for an urgent hearing, listed the case for Friday.
The BSES discoms also wrote to the Delhi government on Thursday, asking for the immediate release of Rs 262 crore of the pending subsidy amount to help them pay the NTPC dues and avoid a likely power regulation crisis.
"If the government considers it desirable, it may make a direct payment of Rs 95 crore to NTPC due to BYPL while disbursing the balance amount to BSES discoms," BRPL Director Gopal Saxena said in a letter to Delhi power secretary Puneet Goel. BSES also asked for the clearing of pending payments of Rs 118 crore from South Delhi Municipal Corporation for power supplied to street lights.
The BSES discoms also sought two days from DERC to give their submissions on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's call for licence cancellation. The CM had written to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung saying the state government should be prepared for taking over the discoms' operations to control the "ugly situation".
The city's third power distributor Tata Power-owned Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) rejected as "mere speculation" media reports said the state government might ask TPDDL to take over BSES supply areas and indicated it wanted to focus only on its own areas.
"Tata Power or TPDDL have not received any official communication from any authority in Delhi on the subject of association with other discoms. Tata Power is of the view that its joint venture company in Delhi has to focus on its own area of operation. Also, there is a huge challenge of recoverable regulatory assets at TPDDL to the tune of almost Rs 5,000 crore. These issues need resolution and we would look forward to consultations and facilitation on these matters in the coming few days and weeks. In view of the above, Tata Power would rather stay focused on its own venture in Delhi," the company told Business Standard in a statement.
In what would further increase pressure on BSES discoms, an NTPC spokesperson informed that the power generator had on Thursday raised additional bills for power supply in the month of January on BSES firms. The fresh bills raised the total outstanding liabilities of BSES firms to NTPC to Rs 692 crore – including Rs 368 crore for BRPL and Rs 324 crore for BYPL. NTPC had last week served notices to the BSES discoms threatening suspension of power supply, arguing 2,000 Mw of electricity supply would be cut if they did not clear past dues by February 11.
Source- Business Standard