Arvind Kejriwal says L-G has agreed to penalise discoms, pay consumers for power cuts

The announcement came after the two had a meeting to discuss various issues, including power cuts in the city and the authorities’ preparedness on dengue and chikungunya

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 8, 2017 3:46 am
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi government, Power Discoms CM of Delhi and AAP Party leader Arvind Kejriwal. Express Photo by Amit Mehra

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday said that Lt Governor Anil Baijal has agreed to his government’s proposal to levy a monetary penalty on discoms over power cuts in the capital. The announcement came after the two had a meeting to discuss various issues, including power cuts in the city and the authorities’ preparedness on dengue and chikungunya. After the meeting, Kejriwal tweeted: “Hon’ble LG agreed DISCOMS shud pay compensation 4 unscheduled power cuts 2 make them accountable. Fairplay n equity 2 consumers 2 be ensured.”

Baijal, too, tweeted: “Met CM @ArvindKejriwal. Discussed issue of power cuts & compensation to consumers. Suggested to devise a rational,fair & enforceable model.” In July 2015, the AAP government had asked the city’s power regulator to include a penalty clause wherein discoms will be liable to pay Rs 50 per hour per household for the first two hours of outage. If the power cut exceeded two hours, then discoms would have to pay Rs 100 per hour till power was restored. However, the Delhi High Court had said such a move requires approval from the L-G’s office.

The meeting between Kejriwal and Baijal comes a day after Delhi’s peak power demand broke all records, touching 6,526 MW at 3.31pm. Power cuts were reported from Patparganj, Chhatarpur, Uttam Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, New Ashok Nagar, Pachim Vihar, Karol Bagh, Tagore Garden, Chandni Chowk and Majnu Ka Tila. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had Tuesday said discoms should be brought to book by being made to pay compensation to consumers for unscheduled power cuts. Kejriwal has on Tuesday directed Chief Secretary M M Kutty to place the proposal before the L-G.

Sources at the L-G secretariat, however, claimed Baijal has not received a proposal in this regard and that the agreement seems to be “only verbal”. Sources added that Baijal is not aware if any such proposal had been sent to former L-G Najeeb Jung.

What delhi government wants

The proposal: In July 2015, power regulators asked to include a penalty clause wherein discoms will be liable to pay Rs 50/hour/household for first two hours of unscheduled outage. If the power cut exceeds two hours, discoms will pay Rs 100/hour till power supply is restored.

The challenges: Proposal has to be approved by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). Before that, the regulator has to hold a public hearing wherein all stakeholders, including discoms, will submit their stand.
Determine the reason for outages: Distribution, transmission or generation failure or installation problems by the consumer. If implemented, around 50 lakh meters will need to replaced. The cost of a smart meter is six-eight times more than the one currently installed

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