There seems to be no escape for power distribution company BSES Rajdhani from paying the Rs.1.68 crore penalty levied on it by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission. The discom’s plea for reconsideration has also been not been reviewed favourably by the regulator.
“If the power distribution company had a problem with penalty imposed by the regulator it had the option of going to the High Court or to the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity to present its case and seek a stay order.
Since that option has not been exercised, the company has no option but to pay up. The regulator’s order has a judicial binding that has to be met,” said a senior Power Department official.
The DERC had asked BYPL to pay up Rs.1.68 crore as penalty for overdrawing heavily from the Northern Grid during the summer despite repeated notices from the State Load Dispatch Centre to refrain from doing so.
The company’s then Chief Executive Officer Arun Kanchan too was asked to pay Rs.1 lakh as penalty for “managerial failure” during the months of June to August when Delhi suffered the worst power cuts of the season on account of inadequate procurement of power by the company.
“The penalty was to be paid by November 16, but the discom has failed to meet the order. The regulator can take punitive action against them for non-compliance of the order,” said the official.
The DERC has now asked the company to file a compliance report and also deposit the fine without any delay.
For its part, the BRPL has been arguing that overdrawal of power was not limited to them alone. The company claims that the other discoms, the Tata-owned North Delhi Power Limited, had also overdrawn power to meet its requirement during the summer.
Prolonged power cuts and reports from the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre pertaining to excessive overdrawal from the grid, threatening its safety had prompted the DERC to investigate the issues.
“There was adequate proof that the company resorted to excessive overdrawal from the Northern Grid in June even when the frequency was low and it was unsafe to overdraw. Besides, the company did not pay heed to the notices issued to it by the SLDC, cautioning it against excessive overdrawal, which could have led to a grid collapse,” the official explained.