Delhi power regulator DERC gets new chief

New Delhi: P D Sudhakar, a former special secretary in Union Corporate Affairs Ministry, was on Monday sworn in as chairman of Delhi's power regulator DERC.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) got its new head after a hiatus of six months, as the post was lying vacant since the retirement of Berjinder Singh in September last year.

Sudhakar, a 1976 batch IAS officer, will have a tenure of five years as chairman of the DERC. He was given oath of office by Power Minister Harun Yusuf.

Asked about his priorities, Sudhakar said he will strive hard to bring more efficiency in the power sector.

"I am happy to be selected for this challenging assignment. I will strive hard to bring more efficiency and ensure uninterrupted power supply in the city," he said.

Asked about his view on fixing new power tariff, Sudhakar did not give a direct reply but said "people will continue to get relief."

In a service period of 34 years, Sudhakar has held many important assignments in Government of India as well as Uttar Pradesh Government. He had worked in power sector in Uttar Pradesh as special secretary of power.

As DERC chairman, Sudhakar's first task would be to finalise the process for fixing new power tariff for the year 2011-12.

In May last year, the city government had, through a notification, stalled DERC's decision to announce the annual tariff for 2010-11 till it re-examines the demands from discoms to increase the rates.

The DERC, which was making last minute preparations to announce the new tariff, after receiving the government's directive had indicated that it had planned to cut down the tariff by 20 to 25 per cent as discoms would have a surplus of around Rs 4,000 crore if the existing tariff was not changed.

The government's notification was quashed by the court in February describing the intervention "absolutely unjustified, unwarranted, untenable."

All three private power distribution companies have been demanding a substantial hike in tariff citing increased power purchase cost.