The Hush Post: Much to the delight of Delhiites and in a first of its kind pro-consumer policy in the country, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has given a go-ahead to the policy of compensating consumers for long unscheduled power cuts starting this summer.
Under this policy, private power distribution companies in Delhi are required to fix any problem within 60 minutes. There are three private companies that supply power in Delhi — Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and BSES Yamuna Power Limited.
If the distribution company isn’t able to meet this deadline, then they would have to pay a penalty of Rs 50 per hour to each consumer who files a claim for the first two hours followed by Rs 100 per hour after two hours.
What a person needs to lodge a complaint is simple: send a “no current” text message to the designated phone number, email, phone app or a website along with the basic details.
The complaint should be lodged as soon as the power supply is disrupted. The power distribution company or discom as usually called is liable to respond when the power supply resumes. Power cuts happen in Delhi when local lines or transformers develop faults due to overloading the system.
If the concerned company is not able to rectify the problem in the next one hour, the company shall automatically credit the penalty into the account of the consumers. The penalty shall be adjusted in the consumer’s monthly bill.
Consumers can complain to the power regulator, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC), if the power distribution company fails to deliver. If the power regulator finds the claim substantial enough, power companies might have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 fine or up to five times the initial penalty amount.
Once smart power meters are universally used in Delhi, the system would be completely automated.
Earlier, the same scheme announced by the AAP government had been cancelled because it had been notified without the Lieutenant Governor’s signature.