Notice to discoms on PIL seeking uniform tariff

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has sought replies from the Union Government, the Delhi Government, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Capital's power distributions companies (discoms) here on a public interest litigation seeking a uniform power tariff for domestic consumers across the city.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice T. S. Thakur and Justice S. N. Aggarwal asked the respondents to file their replies to the petition by February 21.

Petitioner Srichand Jain through his counsel Surgiv Dubey submitted that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) bought power at higher rates than the private power distribution companies but sold it to consumers at lower rates in the New Delhi area while the discoms charged higher tariffs from their consumers.

He submitted that the discoms also received power subsidy from the Delhi Government to make up their losses.

The total loss of the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board of three years at the time of its unbundling was far less than what the State Government had paid to the power distribution companies each year as power subsidy since they were handed over the distribution task, the petitioner stated.

He accused the power distribution companies of resorting to unscheduled power cuts in violation of the Indian Electricity Act.

Though the Capital was short of power, the Delhi Government went about selling electricity to other States, the petitioner alleged, adding that the power distribution companies also supplied power to villages of the States bordering Delhi because they get an opportunity to charge higher tariffs from them.

Mr. Jain urged the Court to issue a direction for introduction of a uniform power tariff for the whole of Delhi.

He also sought a direction to the State Government to stop sale of power to other States and to the discoms to discontinue the supply of power to villages that fall in other States.

The discoms should inform the consumers well in advance before resorting to any load shedding, the petitioner stated.