Hyderabad

TSERC’s advisory to staff triggers debate

The recent advisory issued by the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) to the State’s power utilities asking them to issue instructions to their respective employees not to correspond with the commission or appear before it without prior permission from the employer, has raised eyebrows.

Questions are being raised about the commission’s jurisdiction in issuing such an advisory. The advisory dated February 9, asked the TSGENCO, TSTRANSCO, TSSPDCL and TSNPDCL, to issue instructions to their employees that “without prior approval, no employees shall appear or enter into any correspondence relating to the utilities business and present before the commission in any matter relating to their business.”

Following this, on February 17, the TSTRANSCO issued a circular to its staff asking them to follow the instructions “scrupulously, without any deviation”, and cautioned them of departmental action in the event of violations.

This would prevent Telangana Electricity Employees’ JAC (TEEJAC), among others, from filing objections, especially about the ARR and Tariff proposals, and attending the annual public hearings. The TEEJAC had in recent past raised objections to the Power Purchase Agreement between the State discoms and Chhattisgarh power utilities, and claimed that the PPA would prove costly for Telangana.

New situation

“This is a new situation for us. Employees of power utilities have filed thousands of petitions before the erstwhile APERC. Employees’ participation is a known phenomenon worldwide in the regulatory processes,” noted coordinator of the TEEJAC K. Raghu.

Hundreds of petitions were filed demanding construction of Rayalaseema Thermal Power Project in public sector, and revoking of the decision to demolish 30 MW Nellore Thermal Station earlier, he reminds. M. Venugopal Rao, convenor of the Centre for Power Studies says that the TSERC had exceeded its limits. “Commission’s very purpose is to encourage public participation.

Lay people would not be aware of the technical, legal and procedural matters of the utilities, and employees’ associations specialising on the subjects can make meaningful contributions,” he says.

For the past 15 years since ERC was formed, the Engineers’ Associations’ members have been regular participants of the processes, and issued statements on policy matters too, Mr.Rao recalled.

However, TSERC’s secretary K.Srinivas Reddy said the Commission issued the advisory keeping in view the code of conduct of employees, and participation is welcome with the utilities’ permission.



Employees of power utilities have filed thousands of petitions before the erstwhile APERC. Employees’ participation is a known phenomenon worldwide in the regulatory processes.

K. Raghu

TEEJAC coordinator



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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:34:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tsercs-advisory-to-staff-triggers-debate/article8274036.ece

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