Power discoms in the Capital are unhappy that despite the fact that Delhi’s demand for power has been on an exponential rise and there was no tariff revision for the past four years, “leading to losses”, there has been no help from the Centre. The discoms want the Centre to pitch in with help so that the companies can augment and strengthen power infrastructure and services.
Officials of the three discoms in the city, the BRPL and BYPL -- both subsidiaries of the BSES -- and the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) have complained that the Centre has not even consented to their demand for providing the city power from the unallocated quota to meet the summer demand.
“In the past four years there has been no hike in tariffs, because of which the discoms have been saddled with overdues. There has been very little support from the Central Government, because Delhi does not qualify for grants under schemes like the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) or the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) that fetches monetary help to other States. Considering Delhi’s position as the National Capital and also its demand graph, there should be some relief from the Centre,” said Praveer Sinha, chief executive officer of TPDDL.
The discoms point out that the Central Government has disbursed help to the tune of Rs. 50,000 crore to various States under the APDRP since 2008. “The Centre has been helping various State Governments with infrastructure establishment, but there seems to be no head under which the discoms can be offered some assistance,” said an official of the power department.
Discoms have argued that they spend Rs. 400 crore annually on capital expenditure, purchase power even at high rates and have augmented the services to bring down the loss levels, yet there has been no incentive.
Soft loans under the RGGVY and APDRP have been provided to States for renovating, modernising and strengthening the power systems.
Under these schemes, a provision of converting 50 per cent of the soft loans into a grant in five equal tranches on achieving 15 per cent AT&T losses has also been provided.
“We have been raising the demand for Centre’s help for sometime now. Initially it was decided that States with loss levels below 15 per cent will not be eligible for funding under the APDPR, then in July 2010, it was decided to reconsider the eligibility clause, but till date there is no clear direction. Delhi is considered an urban area and, therefore, is not even eligible for funds under the RGGVY, despite the fact there are a lot of rural pockets in the State,” said Gopal Saxena, chief executive officer of BRPL.
The only subsidy that the discoms are offered is a Rupee 1 per unit subsidy for domestic consumers whose power consumption does not cross 200 units a month and that is funded by the State Government.He said the discoms have shared their concerns with a lot of agencies including the Planning Commission.