Monday, Apr 07, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Such a provision in the "Performance Standards - Metering and Billing Regulations, 2002'' of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission has finally come into force from April 1. The penalty provisions of this important regulation which protect the rights of the consumer was initially to come into effect from January 1 but was postponed at the request of the discoms till March.
The officials of private Discoms -- Tata Power-managed North Delhi Power Limited and BSES-managed BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and BSES Yamuna Power Limited -- assert that though the mess left by the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board was yet to be cleaned, they were now prepared to provide services to their consumers within the time limit stipulated by the DERC.
The DERC Chairman, V.K. Sood, said this time there was no extension of the deadline and the penalty provision have come into affect from April 1. The chief executive officer of North Delhi Power Limited, Anil Sardana, said: "We have now decided to learn the hard way. Though we have made elaborate arrangement to ensure that we meet the deadline, we are ready to pay the fines if we do not comply with the DERC orders.'' This is the reason why the NDPL did not approach the DERC this time, "even though we wanted the deadline to be extended by another three months.''
In December, both NDPL and BSES had requested DERC to extend the deadline to implement this penalty provision for six months, but the Commission ruled for three months. A spokesperson of BSES said: "We are well prepared to meet the demands of the situation. As a responsible corporate, we always have and will continue to comply to all statutory requirements.''
Though critics have termed the penalty of Rs. 500 on the discoms as too low and complain that DERC was soft towards the private companies, sources said this was just the beginning and would be increased in days to come. "This provision of the Regulation would go a long way in protecting the rights of the consumers,'' they said.
As per provisions of the Metering and Billing Regulations, both NDPL and BSES would be imposed a penalty if there was delay in providing new connection within the timeframe which has been stipulated by the DERC. They would also be imposed a penalty if there is delay in raising the first bill, delay in transfer of ownership regulation and delay in load reduction.
To ensure that such an important regulation was complied by the discoms, the DERC has directed BSES and NDPL to submit a quarterly pendancy statement giving zone details of connections not energised within the time frame and the reason thereof. The same is the case with the other provisions having penalty. They also have to submit details of the penalty accumulated in each of the case.
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