The city's water supplier, the Delhi Jal Board, wants its electricity charges rationalised. After complaining that it is being asked to pay a “high and unreasonable” tariff, the DJB has gone to the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity for recourse and is also seeking a go-ahead from the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for opting for open access to purchase cheaper power for its installations.

In the financial year 2011-12, the DJB paid Rs.320 crore as electricity charges. The water utility claims this amount could have been much lower had the DERC not fixed its electricity charges much higher than even the industry, which is charged the highest per unit rate.

To support its claims, the DJB says that while industrial consumers are asked to pay Rs. 4.60 per unit and utilities like the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation have to pay Rs. 3.80 per unit, it has to pay Rs.5.60 per unit.

“We are a service provider, not an industry making profits. There is no reason why we should be asked to pay more. The DMRC gets power at lower rates, why should the DJB be slotted in the highest paying bracket,” questioned a senior official.

Petitions to the DERC not having borne results, the DJB is now banking on the APTEL. “We have pointed out that the tariff should be determined on the basis of real cost of supply without taking into consideration the cross subsidisation for any other class or category of consumers The DJB is not a commercial organisation earning surplus revenue,” the official said. The water utility is now also seeking permission to opt for open access to buy cheaper power for its use at its treatment plants and other offices.

“There is a provision in the Electricity Act 2003 for consumers of 1 MW and more to opt for open access. We have written to the DERC to fix the wheeling charges and decided the cross subsidy details to that we can float a tender and invite applications from power companies. We have also decided to take the required steps to improve our power load factor and efficiency,” the official said.

Approaches Appellate Tribunal for Electricity for recourse

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