Chandigarh, August 10: Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has asked Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) to immediately suspend the power utilities of state.
INLD leader & former finance minister, Prof Sampat Singh said that as per the Electricity Act, 2003, the power corporations are not performing their duties and responsibilities, so they should be immediately suspended as per the section 24 of the act. He also demanded appointment of an Administrator in the utilities. Elaborating further, he said that power corporations have been consistently disregarding the various public interest directives of HERC, which calls for strict action.
Prof Sampat Singh said that HERC has directed many times to power corporations to control its line losses but the incompetent & inept power corporations have not taken any action in this regard. He said that the common electricity consumer is being made to pay for the follies, corruption and ineffectual working of the power corporations. Had the corporations been sincere in their efforts in controlling the line losses, the results could have come by now, he added.
While making a startling disclosure, former finance minister said that another intimation has been sent to HERC to procure additional Rs 162 crore from the electricity consumers, in addition to the Rs 522 crore already being considered by HERC. He said that INLD has already submitted its objections against the 522 crore additional burden on consumers and INLD leaders would personally plead the consumer’s case in the 18 August public hearing. He said that during the last one & half years, the government has put burden of Rs 3280 crores on the consumers and government is now putting additional burden of Rs 684 crores.
INLD leader said that the people of the state are not ready to accept the additional burden of Rs 684 crores, as they are suffering from rising prices. He said that on one side, there were wide spread power thefts due to incompetency of electricity officers, poor management and wrong policies of Hooda Government and on the other side, government has not done any real effort to generate more power, resulting into huge sufferings to consumers due to regular power cuts. Now the government is rubbing salt into people’s wounds by further increasing the power rates on one pretext or the other, he added.
Prof Sampat Singh said that power corporations are directly responsible for putting additional burden on the consumers and through the line losses. He said that officially transmission, distribution & commercial losses are 42%, whereas many losses/thefts are being diverted into account of unmetered farming tube-wells, otherwise the total losses would amount to more than 50%. He said that 50% line losses are the proof of the prevalent corruption and shameful incompetency on the part of power corporations and its officers. He said that 1% line loss amount to additional burden of Rs 90 crore on the consumers, where as 50% line loss come out to be Rs 4500 crores per annum.
INLD leader said that an Administrator should be appointed by HERC and a through inquiry should be conducted against concerned responsible officers, right from chairman & MD to sub-divisional officers. He reminded HERC that under the Electricity Act, provision of detention upto three years is there. He reiterated that if the government sponsored line losses and thefts could be controlled, there would be no need of putting additional burden on the honest power consumers. So much so, the power tariffs could have been decreased to give some relief to the consumers.
Prof Singh said that INLD would consider its further legal options like approaching Appellate Tribunal of Electricity or Hon’ble Supreme Court, if HERC did not acted on this demand.