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East Coast Railways moves power tribunal over distribution license

The Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission declined to recognise ECoR as deemed distribution licensee under any provision of the Railway Act, 1989 and Electricity Act, 2003.

Published: 02nd July 2020 09:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2020 09:30 AM   |  A+A-

Indian trains, Indian railways

For representational purposes (File Photo |EPS)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The East Coast Railways (ECoR) has moved the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE) challenging the order of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) which rejected its demand for deemed distribution license.

Disposing off the application of the State-owned Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) on February 25, OERC declined to recognise ECoR as deemed distribution licensee under any provision of the Railway Act, 1989 and Electricity Act, 2003.

"We are not agreeable to declare Railways a ‘deemed distribution licensee’ either under the provisions of Railways Act, 1989 or under the Electricity Act, 2003," the OERC order said. The regulatory body comprising Chairperson UN Behera and Member SK Parhi further observed that the Ministry of Power has declared Railways a 'Deemed Licensee' not a 'Deemed Distribution Licensee'. They are 'deemed licensee' for the purpose of transmission and not for distribution. 

"They (Railways) can carry on transmission activity without obtaining a transmission license in addition to consuming power like a normal consumer due to their special and superior status under the Railways Act, 1989, in contrast to the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003. As a consumer under Electricity Act, 2003, they have full right to avail open access under relevant Regulation made under Electricity Act, 2003," the order said.

The application of ECoR for deemed distribution license and open access were pending before the State-owned utilities OPTCL, GRIDCO and State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) since 2016.

"Conferment of deemed distribution licensee status without license condition under Section 16 of the Electricity Act is not tenable. A license must contain rights and obligation of a licensee such as area of operation, nature of consumers, distribution or transmission voltage otherwise the license shall be incomplete and shall stand inoperative," the regulator said. 

The ECoR is currently operating with 29 railway traction sub-stations in  the State drawing power from the four distribution companies.


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