Underlining that Delhi residents should not be inconvenienced, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) not to snap supply to Reliance Group-owned discoms over non-payment of dues until March 26.
As a pre-condition for continued supply, a bench of Justices S S Nijjar and A K Sikri directed the BSES to pay Rs 50 crore to the NTPC within two weeks, as a part payment of the total outstanding dues of around Rs 300 crore.
The bench perused the notice of disconnection issued by NTPC and said, “This is not the right attitude to take… The consumer should not suffer in all this.”
Besides the NTPC, the apex court also issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi government and the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, asking them to respond to Reliance’s plea within two weeks. It gave another one week to the two companies to file their replies and fixed the matter for hearing thereafter.
“We are grateful to the Supreme Court for its intervention on our petition, restraining NTPC from cutting power supply,” the two companies said in a statement.
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The discoms welcomed the court’s directive to NTPC and urged the Delhi government to adopt a “constructive approach to avoid “unnecessary crises of this nature”.
However, on the same day, while addressing a public gathering in the capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the two companies will be “thrown out” of Delhi if they fail to improve their services. The NTPC last week had issued notices to BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna on the issue of payment of security mechanism and non-payment of dues.
BSES runs two companies that supply electricity to nearly 70 per cent of Delhi. They reportedly owe around Rs 300 crore to the power-generating company NTPC. The outstanding are for the power supply in December, to be payable by the end of January. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity had directed DERC not to take a final decision on revoking the licences of BSES discoms without its permission.