AAP govt asks DERC to revoke licences of Delhi discoms

AAP-led Delhi government asked DERC to revoke licences of power distribution companies should they fail to pay dues to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and resort to long outages.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government on Monday asked the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to revoke licences of power distribution companies should they fail to pay dues to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and resort to long outages.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government upped the ante against Anil Ambani-controlled BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) after the dicoms threatened extensive blackouts due to financial difficulties.

Delhi government wrote to the DERC saying such arm-twisting by BSES would not be acceptable.

In a letter, the government conveyed to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) that extensive blackouts due to financial difficulties of BSES discoms will not be acceptable.

"The stand of discoms that due to their financial difficulties, they will be unable to supply power to consumers of Delhi for long hours in a day calls for revocation of their licences by DERC under section 19(d) of the Electricity Act, 2003," the government told DERC.

Terming it as a "most serious matter", the government requested DERC to find out from the two discoms in the next two or three days as to whether they are going to stop power supply to consumers of Delhi beyond February 10.

"In case, these discoms continue with their stand, DERC may not have an alternative but to suspend their licenses immediately, as a first step, under para 13 of the terms and conditions of their distribution licences," the government said.

"The Chief Minister has already issued the necessary instructions to the Chief Secretary. DERC may immediately take these steps or work out any other alternative suitable mechanism to address the situation," the letter said.

DERC chairman P D Sudhakar said the issue will be discussed threadbare tomorrow, PTI reported.

BSES discoms issued a statement, saying they were not aware of the government`s recommendation to suspend licenses.

"We are not aware of any such developments. We are deeply committed to consumers of Delhi and have served them for over 10 years and reduced power losses to the tune of nearly Rs 35,000 crores which have accrued as savings to Delhi government," they said.

The power tariff in the city was hiked by up to eight per cent on Friday by DERC to help discoms improve their finances.

In case the discoms do pull out of power distribution after suspension of their licences, the Delhi government said it will appoint administrative officers to ensure the capital doesn`t fall into darkness.

"It is requested that officers who could be appointed as administrative officers of discoms may be immediately identified in consultation with the Chief Secretary so that if need be, immediate action is possible and consumers and Government of Delhi are not caught napping," the letter said.

NTPC had on Saturday served notices of power supply suspension to the two Anil Ambani-owned distribution companies in Delhi due to payment issues.

The state-owned utility said BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna had not maintained letters of credit of adequate value, a prerequisite for getting power from NTPC stations.

Since BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna had not provided the requisite payment security mechanism, notice for regulation of power supply for 90 days starting February 11 was issued to both companies.

(With PTI Inputs)