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Home News Power Sector News DERC to probe role of BSES in tower collapse

DERC to probe role of BSES in tower collapse

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DERCIncident of five BSES High Tension towers collapsing in Delhi, killing an autorickshaw driver and injuring a passenger, has once again put the focus on the discoms' infrastructure and maintenance. Though power utility BSES Yamuna has apprised watchdog Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) of the incident, the regulator is likely to ask for a report from the discom to ascertain the reasons behind it.

"We plan to investigate whether there were any failings on the part of the discom that led to the incident,'' said a senior DERC official. "The maintenance of the towers will also be scrutinised. At present, the explanation we have got from BSES Yamuna on the incident is what they have told the media. But we plan to do our own verification too.''

Interestingly, for the first time since privatisation, DERC had roped in an independent agency from Hyderabad to conduct verification of assets, including the present condition of BSES Yamuna, BSES Rajdhani and NDPL. The move came after DERC started having serious doubts about whether Delhi's power utilities have actually been making huge capital expenditure (capex) to improve the distribution network. The report from the independent agency Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) was supposed to be submitted to the regulator on February 28 but has hit a hurdle.

The DERC official said: "The ASCI report has been delayed because of some compilation problems and we expect that this will resolved at the earliest.'' Sources, however, said the delay was on account of the reluctance of some discoms to disclose details of their assets and quantum of investment in recent years.

Meanwhile, BSES Yamuna lodged a formal police complaint against DS Constructions Ltd, the contractor engaged by PWD, at the Pandav Nagar police station. The utility claimed that the incident was a result of their negligence.

The complaint filed by the Reliance-backed discom said: "It was observed that the road-widening contractor of PWD without caring for the basic norms of Electricity Rules has damaged the plinth of the towers which caused the unfortunate incident.''

The police said the complaint is yet to be treated as an FIR. "The investigations are still on and if the technical committee under the electrical inspector of Delhi government finds this to be true, an FIR will be lodged,'' said a senior police officer.

A DSC spokesperson has denied that they had anything to do with the incident. "DSC Limited has never carried out any construction activity at the incident site. While executing the work for UP Link Road Project, we had completed the road work more than 50 metres away from the site where the incident occurred (almost a year ago)....The fact is also reiterated by PWD in its report to the chief secretary of Delhi today.''any described the allegation as "false propaganda'' and "baseless rumours''.

Source- Times of India

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