The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the managing director (MD) of Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, the distribution company of eastern Uttar Pradesh for not being able to reduce line losses despite the regulatory commission’s orders.
Apart from the MD, the commission also slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on the director (Commercial) and R10,000 each on four chief engineers of the discom.
The chief engineers under the commission’s scanner were those from Azamgarh, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Gorakhpur.
The commission has asked the officials to deposit the fine within a week.
Passing the order, UPERC chairman, Desh Deepak Verma said the decision was taken after the discom management failed to curb the line losses which have been hovering, on an average, in the range of 40 to 45%. In fact, none of the said officials had appeared before the commission despite being called for a hearing.
The action comes on the heels of UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav cracking down on power theft ahead of the festive season. “The action is expected to send a signal to other officials not to take the pilferage of power casually,” an official of UPERC said.
The Commission also observed that the discoms were treating the Regulatory Commission only as means to increase tariffs. “Had they made an effort to reduce the line losses, the tariff hikes could have been restricted. Unfortunately, the reduction in line losses is only in between 0.5% to 1% which is low compared with the national average,” the Commission said.
“Discoms have been asked to reduce AT&C losses as it directly effects the consumers. If losses are controlled, the tariff hike, too, will be reduced substantially,” said Desh Depak Verma, adding that all the discoms have been given a target of reducing 3% line losses in 3 months. “The commission has summoned the dicoms for a hearing again in January, after which it will review the situation,” he added.