The two discoms - BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) - owe around Rs. 3,000 crore to a number of generation and transmission companies.
A DERC member said that the notices were issued to the two discoms following a communication from Delhi government which asked the regulator to take urgent steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the city.
These discoms have been asked to reply to the notices by December 2 based on which the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission will take a final decision on whether to suspend their licences for operation or not, the DERC member said.
When contacted, BRPL CEO Gopal Saxena said the company was studying the notices and an appropriate response would be given to DERC.
"We have been demanding a cost reflective tariff as we are incurring huge losses. Nevertheless we will continue to supply 24X7 power supply to all our consumers," he said.
The DERC official said, "The Delhi government had sent a communication to us stating that both BYPL and BRPL have been issuing periodic threats of suspending power supply if they are not provided with financial help. In view of the threat as well as dues owed by the discoms to generation and transmission companies, we decided to issue notices," the official said.
The DERC member said the commission will take a final decision on whether to suspend the licences of the two discoms based on their replies.
"The Delhi government had sent a communication to us stating that both BYPL and BRPL have been issuing periodic threats of suspending power supply if they are not provided with financial help. In view of the threat as well as dues owed by the discoms to generation and transmission companies, we decided to issue notices," the official said.
In the notice, DERC, invoking provisions of Section 24 of the Electricity Act, 2003, said if the commission was not satisfied with replies by the discoms, it may appoint an administrator to discharge the functions of the licencees.
Delhi Power Minister Harun Yusuf refused to comment saying he has not seen the DERC notices to the two companies.
Last month, the Supreme Court had directed BPRL and BYPL to pay Rs. 45 crore out of Rs. 141.24 crore arrears due to Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) towards power generation as an adhoc arrangement as the two companies had refused to pay up citing financial crisis.
The court had refused to take a lenient view that both the discoms were reeling under heavy revenue loss and it has become impossible for them to distribute electricity at the prevalent tariff rate which was not sufficient even to cover the cost of distribution.
Top officials of Delhi government, however, said government was "really fed up" with the "threats and "pressure tactics" of the BSES and that is why wanted some concrete action.
Sources in DERC said although Tata-backed discom NDPL has been offering services without any complaint, the BYPL and BRPL have been consistently maintaining that they will not be able to sustain the operations if tariff was not hiked as per their wishes.
"This kind of attitude was not acceptable," the officials said.
The DERC had effected a 22 per cent hike in tariff in September following persistent demand by the discoms. BYPL and BRPL were, however, not satisfied with the hike.
Source - NDTV