Andhra Pradesh

Eastern Discom takes over business of two RESCOs

Eastern Discom takes over business of two RESCOs   | Photo Credit: BY_ARRANGMENT

The Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited of Andhra Pradesh (APEPDCL) took over the business activities of Anakapalle (Kasimkota) and Cheepurupalli Rural Electric Cooperative Societies Limited (RESCOs) in the absence of a recommendation by the government to Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to exempt them from obtaining the licence for undertaking distribution and retail sale of power for the 2021-22 financial year.

The Southern Discom is bound to take over the business activities of Kuppam RESCO for the same reason as above.

According to sources, the APERC issued an order to CMDs of the EPDCL and the SPDCL on March 25 to take over the activities of three RESCOs, but the latter received no instructions to that effect from the Department of Co-Operation.

The Managing Directors of the RESCOs have submitted applications to the APERC with the requisite fees, seeking exemption from having licences in their respective areas, but the same were returned to the RESCOs as the government has not recommended exemption of the licences, a mandatory provision under the Section13 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

The APERC had ruled that the RESCOs were not entitled to function as per law in the absence of licence or exemption from the same. It had thus prepared the ground for the takeover of RESCOs by the respective Discoms as a prelude to the settlement of the issues related to their (RESCOs’) assets and liabilities by the competent authority.

Assets and liabilities

A top official of the EPDCL told The Hindu that formalities for taking over the licensed activities of Anakapalle and Cheepurupalli RESCOs except the entrustment of their assets and liabilities (to the Discom) have been completed recently.

The supply and maintenance of power, release of new connections, billing and collection have been taken over for now. The RESCOs are barred from engaging new staff (permanent or outsourced) and giving promotions to the existing employees and were instructed to make bill payments with the concurrence of the EPDCL officials concerned.

A senior official in the Andhra Pradesh Power Coordination Committee said the RESCOs were set up in the country as pilot projects in the 1960s and 1970s to achieve the goal of faster rural electrification. In Andhra Pradesh, the RESCOs were established through the A.P. Rural Electric Cooperative Societies (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1998, he said, while hinting at some problems that prevented their merger with the Discoms.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 6:50:05 AM |

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