CM was addressing a regional conclave of ERCs of the Northern States

CM was addressing a regional conclave of ERCs of the Northern States

Conclave has been organized by the HERC to mark its Silver Jubilee anniversary celebrations

Chandigarh, Aug 18, 2023. 

The Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal has lauded the untiring efforts of the power utilities under the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) because of whose  oversight the Haryana Discoms have seen financial turnaround. The Chief Minister was addressing a regional conclave of Electricity Regulatory Commissions of the Northern States here on Thursday. The conclave has been organized by the HERC to mark its Silver Jubilee anniversary celebrations..

The Chief Minister inaugurated the conclave by lighting the traditional lamp. He underlined the importance of power sector PSUs in State finances and dwelt at length on the State Government's policies that have made adequate power available to the electricity consumers of the State including at concessional rates to the agriculture sector   tube-wells, Food Processing Organizations, MSME as well as small domestic consumers. He particularly appreciated the hard work put in by Naresh Sardana, HERC Member who was then Director Technical, in making his flagship schemes like Mahara Gaon Jagmag Gaon a huge success.

The Chairman of the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and ERC Goa, Members of Punjab ERC and J&K and Ladakh and UTs attended the conclave. The senior officers of the HERC also took part in the conclave.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission, R.K. Pachnanda highlighted the role of the HERC in promoting and protecting consumers’ interests through the enactment of various consumer centric regulations like guaranteed standards of performance, speedy disposal of consumers’ grievances, larger integration of renewable sources of energy, procurement of power through competitive bidding.

Naresh Sardana, Member HERC, while proposing a vote of thanks underlined the trail-blazing efforts of the Chief Minister especially with reference to inculcating the habit of electricity bills’ payments amongst rural consumers as well as extending hours of supply. In a day to the maximum, linked to the regular payment of bills, shifting of meters outside residences, reduction in line losses in most of the villages of Haryana.

The Chairman of HPERC D.K. Sharma highlighted the role of his Commission in protecting consumers’ interests which included remote monitoring of the timelines of services and provide compensation automatically for at least six identified consumer services to begin with, provision to set up operation circle level Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum (CGRF) in Discoms and encouraging public interaction program for the electricity consumers as well as operationalization of consumer advocacy cell for education and generating awareness amongst consumers of rural  and remote areas.

B.N. Sharma, Chairman Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission spoke about consumer-focused regulations including Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum, Standard of Performance (SOP) and Supply Code. In an effort to promote consumer outreach, the hearings on Annual Revenue Requirment (ARR) and tariff matters are conducted at multiple locations in Rajasthan. Public awareness is strongly promoted through campaigns, workshops, seminars and dissemination of educational materials through the Discoms for which separate budgetary allocations are made in the ARR.

Alok Tandon, Chairman (Goa and UTs), said that the challenges are three-fold-consumer rights, increasing consumer awareness and improving consumer protection. He dwelt at length on the consumer complaint management system including toll free number, mobile app, online dispute resolution by the CGRF and Ombudsman He emphasized the need for analysis of consumer complaints handled at the CGRF or Ombudsman levels to enable the JERC to understand the type of complaints mostly received and for taking corrective actions and modifying the Supply Code and SOP Regulations.

Arvind Kumar, Chairman UPSERC, identified  problems faced by the regulators in Uttar Pradesh including prevalence of cross-subsidy, which has pushed up the cost of power for the cross- subsidizing consumer category including industrial consumers and making them non-competitive.

Member (Law) Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission Paramjeet Singh discussed the issue of the statutory powers conferred on the SERCs and curtailment of the same i.e. on the powers to adjudicate disputes or arbitration. He also talked about the initiatives of the Punjab ERC in protecting consumers’ interests.

Ajay Gupta, Member JERC (J&K and Ladakh (UT), spoke about the transmission and distribution loss reduction trajectory, roll out of smart meters, Revamp Distribution  Sector Scheme and the notification of consumer service related regulations.

Shatrujeet Kapoor, DGP,  who has been the CMD of Haryana Discoms laid stress on various efforts to pull the Discoms out of the red and ultimately make them profitable. With the sustained efforts, loss- levels, during his tenure, were brought down from about 30 percent to about 12 percent. He talked about the theft detection and revenue realization from such consumers as well as the schemes to boost the morale of the Discoms’ employees which yielded positive results.

P.K.Das  Chairman of Haryana Power Utilities in his speech covered the entire gamut of generation, transmission and distribution and retail supply business in Haryana. He emphasized upon proper policy instead of regulations which can give better results. He discussed the issue of capacity-building in the Commission as well as the regulated utilities. 

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