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Hardpressed Delhi wants cheap power

Discoms say they face Rs 200-crore loss from tariff ‘restructuring’.

Discoms say they face Rs 200-crore loss from tariff ‘restructuring’.

Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf on Wednesday said the city government has requested the Centre for cheaper power. This comes in the wake of public outcry over high power bills.

Yusuf said things would be better if Delhi could buy electricity on the cheap and that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has requested Union Power Minister Veerappa Moily for it.

Over the past fortnight,the BJP has tried to stir up public discontent over “inflated” power bills. Sources said the government was wary of the protests over power in the run-up to the Assembly elections.

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“If we get cheap power from Singrauli,and we start getting power from the Bawana plant,the distribution and transmission cost will go down. Then there will be no reason for another tariff hike,” Yusuf said.

Moily said his ministry was considering Dikshit’s request. “I have promised the Chief Minister to look into the issue and we are now planning to get cheap power for Delhi. Things are being worked out,” he said.

The city’s three power distribution companies (discoms) have met government officials. They are staring at an approximate cumulative revenue loss of Rs 200 crore following the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (DERC) decision on Monday to “readjust” the July tariff hike for the benefit of low-end consumers.

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“The companies said they will suffer a revenue loss of over Rs 200 crore,but that is for the DERC to factor in,” Yusuf said.

“The DERC has revised tariff without calculating the revenue gap. The incremental gap will be about Rs 220 crore,” a senior official said.

Sources in discoms BSES and NDPL said calculations were being carried out and the final figure could differ.

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The DERC defended its decision. Its chairperson P D Sudhakar said: “The revenue gap was already recognised in the tariff order with a hike of 22 per cent and an 8 per cent surcharge. So,the total expected recovery might go down only marginally,which will be compensated in the coming years.”

Sources said the DERC had calculated the revenue gap for the three discoms at Rs 6,900 crore when it brought the new tariff order into effect on July 13.

However,power officials said the discoms have to file their annual revenue returns by this month-end for the regulator to come up with a fresh tariff order early next year.

“The DERC has to come up with a new tariff structure in 120 days after the annual returns were filed,” an official said.

Officials said it would be “the most operationally challenging task” to implement the order in retrospect and compensate people who have paid the revised tariff.

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“The IT network had been structured in accordance with the new tariff. So the exercise will have to undone to feed the revised order into the system. The second task will be to find a way to compensate the consumers who have already paid their bills,” a senior official said. “This is,perhaps,the first tariff order in retrospect. Tariff orders have always been prospective,” he said.

Power Hungry

Delhi’s requirement will double in the next five years,says the Central Electricity Authority

4,500 MW is current need 8,700 MW by 2017

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1,000 MW is what Delhi produces 2,400 MW is what it gets from central quota

First published on: 25-10-2012 at 01:12:10 am
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