Regulatory body notice to govt,HPSEB on unbundling

Close on the heels of the Centre turning down the state’s request for more time for unbundling of the state power board,there is fresh trouble for the government.

Written by Express News Service | Shimla | Published:January 19, 2009 12:34 am

Close on the heels of the Centre turning down the state’s request for more time for unbundling of the state power board,there is fresh trouble for the government. The State Electricity Regulatory Commission has asked the government and Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) to clear its stand on unbundling within four weeks.

Taking cognisance of the government’s indecisiveness on the unbundling,the Regulatory Commission,which is a statutory body,has asked Chief Secretary,Principal Secretary (Power) and chairman of the HPSEB to appear before it on February 13 and explain the position of the Board and the future course of action,confirmed sources in the Commission.

Though this has almost set the clock ticking for the countdown towards final action on the matter,the state government is yet to decide whether it would go for unbundling the Board into separate transmission,generation and distribution entities or it would only set up a state transmission utility (STU).

The government has been dragging its feet over the issue of unbundling of the Board since July 2008,when the transmission utility licence of the Board expired. Since then,it has been functioning as an illegal identity as per the provisions of Electricity Act,2003. Talking to The Indian Express,Chief Secretary Asha Swaroop said she has only heard about the notice of the Commission,but has not been received it officially so far.

“The government has already stated that we are working on a plan to set up a transmission corporation that would fulfill the requirement of a separate STU as per the Act. The time limit for execution of this plan is not certain as it involves various sensitive issues of employees and structure of the body and we are in the course of deciding,” said Swaroop

She added that the decision on making three separate entities has still not been taken,as the primary concern of the Electricity Act is to have a separate STU that provides access to all power producers,including independent power producers,which is not possible under the present set-up.

“It seems the Commission has given us four weeks to explain our position and by then we would be prepared with an outline of a plan,” she said.

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