The Delhi Chief minister Shiela Dikshit promised that the Government will verify the petitions, seeking massive rate hikes,submitted by private discoms to regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) . "After examination, we will assess how valid their claims are," she told the media. Last month DERC had openly critisised BSES for forging documents to make profit for sister concern Reliance infra by hiking the power tariff.
All three discoms, BSES Yamuna, BSES Rajdhani and NDPL, have recently submitted their average revenue requirement (ARR) petitions to the DERC, seeking a huge hike in the range of 40% to 70%. The discoms claimed that spiralling power purchase costs and other expenditures have forced them to seek higher tariffs in the next financial year 2009-10.
Government sources said that there is scepticism over claims put forth by discoms. "The power purchase costs have gone down this year as compared to the previous, bringing a reduction to their overall costs. The average cost of power is Rs 2.25/unit, not ashigh as they claim. Even energy consumption is much lower this year due to a reduced power demand," said a senior official.
Apart from the economics of discoms' claims, with general elections due in four months, the Congress government is not likely to allow a situation where it can be targetted for a unpopular move like increased tariffs. Also, the discoms own record on issues like fast meters, improper billing and unscheduled load shedding has been patchy, making them a target of public criticism.
According to state load dispatch centre from the demand noted for December 23 peak load in the current year has gone down since 2005 by 350 MW in the morning and 300 MW in the evening. This, when the temperature on December 23, 2005 was the same as on December 23, 2008. Overall, power consumption until November this year is also 1.5% lower as compared to last year. "The weather conditions have been such that there has been a reduced power demand on discoms both in peak summers and winter this year," said a source.
Source - Times of India