The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear to the Centre, Delhi government and state-run power supplier National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) that Delhi, being the national capital, cannot afford to be in dark, even as they complained against non-payment of dues by the BSES.
“Delhi is the national capital. No country can let its national capital go in dark. It cannot afford to remain in dark. Delhi cannot go without power in any circumstances. It will also cause strategic problems,” a Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S A Bobde said.
The court’s observation came as the counsel for the Centre, Delhi government and the NTPC said that the BSES had not been clearing its current dues, as directed by the Bench. They said that the state-run units also required to purchase coal and, hence, they could not go on supplying electricity in case BSES continued to remain a defaulter.
The counsel for the Reliance ADAG-owned discom BSES, however, told the Bench that there were genuine difficulties in making the payments and that they would do their best to pay as much as they can. They maintained that power tariff was not reflective of the cost at which they were purchasing the power and hence the matter called for a final determination by the Bench.
The court fixed the matter for final hearing on December 15, while making it clear to the governments and the NTPC that Delhi could not be in dark even if the discom failed to pay the entire amount.