Delhi government's compensation plans for power cuts in limbo

The six-month-old promise of Delhi government regarding compensating people for unscheduled power cuts seems to be heading towards a rough patch.

Published: 16th September 2018 08:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2018 08:58 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The six-month-old promise of Delhi government regarding compensating people for unscheduled power cuts seems to be heading towards a rough patch.

The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi 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 in 2016.
However, the power distribution companies (DISCOMS) — NDMC, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd — have raised objection to the move and suggested an alternate solution in a reply to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).

According to sources, the companies have stated that the issue of unscheduled power disruptions at a particular locality can be resolved by shifting the load to a second power station, which will in turn substitute the connecting line without much delay.

In order to go ahead with this solution, the DISCOMS need a generator, power station lines and infrastructure in place, besides land to set up the power stations.

However, as land does not come under the state government, the allotment process of space for substitute power stations should come from the Union Urban Development Ministry.

Other issues flagged by the companies include inability to augment the essential infrastructure in unautharised colonies where there is no space for installing sub-stations and electric lines.  

The DISCOMS have also raised concern over the damage done to the existing infrastructure through encroachments by residents in such colonies. The firms have said that this too contributes to the unscheduled power disruptions, which the authorities should redress soon.

The DERC, which is the final authority to issue notifications, plans to approach Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal as a last attempt at salvaging the promise which Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made.

“We are listening to both the stakeholders. The commission cannot allow any kind of bias even if it is a populist one benefitting the people,” a high ranking official in DERC told The Sunday Standard.

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