In a move that may take away the power to test electricity meters from power distribution companies, Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government is planning to open the first meter testing laboratory in the Capital.
The move, which is likely to set the government on a path of confrontation with the discoms, is meant to dissociate discoms from the meter testing process.
“The government not only wants to have its own meter testing lab, but is also looking at options to ‘sanitise’ discoms from the meter testing process. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked for the lab to be set up in the next eight-ten months, and has said that budgetary provisions should be made for the same,” sources said.
Currently, discoms can test the meters themselves if a consumer approaches them with a complaint about the accuracy of the meters.
According to DERC’s ‘Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations’, any aggrieved consumer can approach a discom after giving a notice and paying a fee. If, following the test, the consumer is not satisfied, the discom is supposed to approach the Electrical Inspector or any authorised third party to test the meter and provide their results within a month. A consumer can also approach a third party directly. Third party testing is currently done by the Delhi PGC, which has been set up in accordance with the National Electricity Policy.
The decision of the Electrical Inspector or an authorised third party is final and binding on the discom as well as the consumer.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s Power Minister Satyendra Jain took on discoms over the issue of non-payment of dues.
He said that the government is likely to recover the dues by adjusting the subsidy component from two discoms — Reliance-owned BRPL and BYPL.
Both have pending dues of nearly Rs 5,000 crore to Delhi Transco Ltd and two state-run power generation companies.
Jain was speaking at the inauguration of an underground transmission line of the Delhi Transco Limited in Tikri Kalan.