Delhi power crisis: Tata Power snubs Arvind Kejriwal govt, refuses to take over BSES operations

Written by Subhash Narayan | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 7 2014, 15:13pm hrs
Tata PowerTata Power is of the view that its joint venture company in Delhi has to focus on its own area of operation.
Tata Power Ltd has refused to come to Delhi governments aid and take over administrative control of the two Anil Ambani group discoms BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani in the event that their licences are suspended by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). The company wants its Delhi distribution entity, TPDDL, to focus on its own area of operation and get the issue of regulatory assets (deferred revenue) resolved rather than take up any additional responsibility.

Tata Power is of the view that its joint venture company in Delhi has to focus on its own area of operation. Also, there is a huge challenge of recoverable regulatory assets at TPDDL, to the tune of almost Rs 5,000 crore, Tata Power said in response to an FE questionnaire.

These issues need resolution and we would look forward to consultations and facilitation on these matters in the coming few days and weeks. In view of the above, Tata Power would rather stay focused on its own venture in Delhi, the company added.

In view of an impending suspension of licences of the two BSES discoms, the Delhi government reportedly explored various options, including handing administrative control of the two utilities to Tata Power. The company was identified as it already has the experience of distributing power in Delhi and a much better track record than BSES.

Tata Power or TPDDL has not received any official communication from any authority in Delhi on the subject of association with other discoms, the statement said.

The Tata Power entity Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL) is a joint venture company that operates North Delhi distribution with a consumer base of over 1 million customers and supplies a peak load of 1,150 MW. The Delhi government owes immediate subsidy cost of about R110 crore to TDPPL and has now sought time till February 15 to pay up. Despite its own issues with the state government concerning assets and dues, it has maintained good relations with both the state government and the generation utilities, making all payments on time.

On the other hand, the two Anil Ambani Group distribution entities BYPL and BRPL are engaged in a tussle with the state governments that has threatened to suspend their licences in the event the discoms resort to large-scale power outages. BYPL, which has not yet paid its January dues of about Rs 170 crore to NTPC, has been given a deadline of February 10 to pay up or face supply cuts. In the wake of this, the discom has indicated that outages in East Delhi could last up to 10 hours on a daily basis. On Thursday, BYPL and BRPL moved the Supreme Court, pleading that NTPC be restrained from cutting supplies to them.

NTPC supplies around 2,000 Mw of power to BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani, which is almost half of the total requirement of the capital. BSES firms supply power to over 75% of the citys 3.4 million consumers. The two discoms source as much as 60% of their power requirement from NTPC.