Delhi to penalise distributors for unscheduled power cuts

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on April 20, 2018

Other States may adopt the ‘Delhi model’ of imposing a penalty on power distribution companies for a default

DISCOMs could pay ₹50 for first two hours, ₹100 for subsequent hours

To bolster its claim to being the common man’s representative, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is in power in Delhi, has decided to play tough with power distributors who enforce unannounced power cuts.

How it will work

On Tuesday, the Delhi government had proposed penalising power distribution companies by ₹50 per hour for the first two hours and ₹100 for each subsequent hour of unscheduled power cuts. The compensation payments will be adjusted against the current or future bills.

The proposal received the approval of the Lieutenant Governor on Thursday. With this, Delhi became the first to institutionalise a penalty on power distribution companies for a default.

This initiative is in sync with the thinking of the Narendra Modi-led government. In fact, once implemented, other States may adopt the Delhi model.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission will soon inform power distribution companies (DISCOMS) — NDMC, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd — of the penalties for unscheduled power cuts.

A Delhi government official told BusinessLine, “The penalty will be levied after notification by the DERC. Individual complaints are eligible for compensation. A group complaint is not required to force the DISCOM to pay up.”

Existing regulations

Under the existing Supply Code and Performance Standards (SOP) Regulations enforced by the DERC from September 1, 2017, the consumer must claim the compensation within 60 days of the supply default. “These penal provisions will have to be notified by the DERC as an amendment of SOP Regulations 2017; only then will it be effective,” the official added.

“If the DISCOM denies the compensation, an appeal can be made with DERC or the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF) by the consumer,” a Delhi government official said. The DISCOM has to compensate the affected persons within 90 days of the date of filing a claim.

Meanwhile, the Centre has proposed to amend the Electricity Act and come up with a fresh tariff policy to ensure that consumers are not taken for a ride.

Published on April 20, 2018

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