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DERC penalises Tata Power-backed discom

New Delhi: Delhi’s power regulator DERC has imposed a penalty of around Rs 19,000 on Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) for failing to provide electricity connection to a consumer within the prescribed time limit of 30 days.

The order by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, which is a quasi-judicial body, came in response to a petition filed against TPDDL by Vijender Kumar Sharma, a resident of Tri Nagar in East Delhi.

In the order, the DERC said Sharma had applied for a new connection on September 3, 2011, and as per Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations, 2007, it should have been provided within one month of filling of the application.

The Tata Power-backed company has been asked to pay a fine of Rs 15,000 to DERC and an amount of Rs 4,158 to the complainant as compensation. When asked, a TPDDL official said the company would fully comply with the DERC order. As per the order, Sharma was given the connection on January 17 — 99 days after filling of the application — which is a violation of the provisions of the laid down norms.

The DERC said as per the regulations, an application is deemed appropriate if no deficiency was intimidated to a consumer within three days of receipt of the same. Though the time limit for giving connection to an applicant is 30 days, the maximum time frame in the case should have been 37 days of filling of the application as the complainant delayed paying the required fee by a week, said the DERC in its order dated September 4.

The TPDDL argued that the connection could not be given as there were anomalies in the information and documents provided by the complainant, including failure on part of Sharma to provide translated and authenticated copy of the documents relating to title of the property and no objection certificate from the legal heirs.

The company said the applicant had completed the formalities only on December 8, 2011 and the connection was given on January 17. It also told the DERC that some of the documents supplied by the applicant were in Urdu which delayed processing of the application.

However, DERC rejected the arguments, saying if a consumer is not intimated about the deficiencies within three days of receiving the application, it will be deemed to have been accepted by the discom. The commission said the company issued a “demand notice” to the applicant on September 6, 2011 and so it was bound to “energise” the connection.

The licensee (TPDDL) has failed to energise the connection within the stipulated time which is violation of the Delhi Electricity Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations, 2007 and provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.

The DERC also rejected TPDDL’s argument challenging jurisdiction of the regulator in taking up the case. The regulator held TPDDL guilty of violating norms on three accounts and imposed penalty of Rs 5,000 for each one of them while awarded a compensation of Rs 4,158 to the complainant.

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