Draft in English Stumps Public at JERC Meeting - The New Indian Express

Draft in English Stumps Public at JERC Meeting

Published: 19th December 2013 11:17 AM

Last Updated: 19th December 2013 11:17 AM

The public hearing by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) was a flop with consumers unable to air their grievances as there was no Tamil translation of the draft regulation. The public hearing on draft regulation on Multi Year Tariff (MYT) and Demand Side Management (DSM) was held here on Tuesday.

Except a few consumers, most of them had nothing specific to say on the draft regulations that was prepared for the Union Territories and the State of Goa. As the draft regulations were in English and running into pages, most of them couldn’t understand it. Though the draft resolution was explained in Tamil briefly, the consumers had no time to delve into it.

Neither JERC nor the Electricity Department had made effort to translate the entire draft regulations on the two subjects well in advance and made it known to the public. The general impression was that this was another ploy to increase the power tariff.

JERC member S K Chaturvedi had tried to explain to the consumers that the tariff fixation would be taken up later after framing the regulations and asked them to air their views on the draft regulations, but no one heeded to it.

When he explained that a proper regulation would be in the interest of consumers, no one was willing to listen and the public hearing turned into a sea of protest on local issues against the Electricity department for its lapses, alleged irregularities and improper practices.

The anger of the residents of Navarkulam and Moolakulam spilled into the hearing after they exposed the delay in shifting of HT line, despite collecting more than `15 lakh in each case.

The pillars were constructed, but nothing went beyond that. They pointed out that the department did not have any grievance cell to look into specific cases and redress it.

The JERC member instructed the Electricity Department to put in place a grievance cell with an officer so that issues could be sorted out then and there.

He also directed the department to display the mobile number of the grievance officer in all the installations and offices of the Electricity Department so that people could get in touch with them.

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