SERC moots efficiency norms

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala State Electricity Board and other power distribution licensees in the State would soon be required to pay the consumers penalties if complaints are not set right promptly.

State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) on Monday published a draft notification setting certain efficiency standards for power distribution licensees and specifying the penalties if they fail to maintain the standards.

At a press conference here on Monday, chairman of SERC C. Balakrishnan said the Government, consumers and the power supply licensees would be given a month's time to give their suggestions on the draft notification.

Final notification

The final notification will be issued with appropriate changes on the basis of the views received.

According to the draft notification, a licensee will have to give power connection within 30 days of receiving an application if the connection does not require installing new posts.

For each subsequent day's delay the applicant is eligible for a penalty of Rs.50 from the licensee.

Power supply disruptions in individual connections have to be set right within six hours in urban areas and 24 hours in rural areas.

Otherwise the licensee will have to pay a penalty of Rs.25 to the consumer concerned.

If the disruption is owing to a breakage in the distribution line, the supply has to be restored within 12 hours in urban areas and 24 hours in rural areas. If the licensee fails to do this, each of the affected consumers is eligible for a compensation of Rs.25.

Transformer problems should be attended to within 24 hours in urban areas and 48 hours in rural areas.

The lines should not be switched off for more than 12 hours continuously for repair works and, in any case, such planned disruptions should not be allowed beyond 6 p.m.

The draft notification further specifies that complaints relating to voltage fluctuations beyond six per cent on either side should be attended to within seven days if the rectification exercise does not involve replacing the supply lines.

If the supply lines require strengthening, the licensee can take up to 120 days to rectify the complaint and, if new High Tension lines have to be drawn or new transformers installed, 240 days.

Otherwise the licensee will have to have Rs.25 as penalty to each of the affected consumers.

The draft notification specifies the timeframe within which all sorts of other consumer complaints have to be attended to by the licencee.