New Delhi: The fight between private
discoms and power regulator DERC over tariff fixation
intensified on Friday with the statutory body issuing show-cause
notice to all three companies for speaking to the media on the
issue in violation of its earlier order.
In a virtual showdown in their fight with DERC,
private discoms had yesterday held the press conference
accusing the authority of taking a "myopic approach" towards
their "justified demand" for a hike in tariff.
The discoms, bolstered by government`s sympathetic
approach towards their demand, had also warned about a
"serious situation" if tariff is not hiked.
The DERC, earlier had issued a gag order to the
discoms not to speak to media on the issue of tariff.
"From today`s newspapers, it is clear that you have
held a press conference yesterday and apparently you have
spoken on matters relating to tariff determination for the
year 2010-11 even though the tariff petitions are pending
before the commission," the DERC said in the show-cause
The statutory power regulator has also directed the
discoms to explain how the press conference is not violative
of the directions of the commission.
Asked what kind of action the DERC can take if reply
of the discoms was not satisfactory, an official said "DERC is
a judicial body and it is empowered to take appropriate
action including imposing hefty fine."
The discoms have been demanding a substantial hike in
power tariff for the fiscal 2010-11 claiming that the total
combined deficit of three discoms stood at Rs 2,600 crore.
However, the DERC had indicated that all the discoms
are having a very healthy surplus in their kitty and hinted
that power tariff may be cut down further.
Taking a sympathetic approach towards the discoms`
demand for a hike in tariff, the government, using a special
provision in the Delhi Electricity Act, on Tuesday had
directed DERC not to announce the annual tariff order for the
year 2010-11 till it reexamines petitions from discoms.
Seeking a "cost reflective tariff structure", the
three discoms -- BYPL, BRPL and NDPL-- said they had bought
power at a very high rate during last summer following a
communication from DERC where it was stated that money would
not be an issue.