Uttar Pradesh electricity regulatory commission serves notice to UPPCL chief, and six MDs for overcharging in new power connections – EQ Mag Pro
LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has issued a legal notice under Section 142 of the Electricity Act 2003 to the chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) and six managing directors including five of power distribution companies (discoms) for charging extra amount from consumers for new connections.
This could be the first occasion when the Commission has issued legal notice to the UPPCL chief and all the discom MDs together.
UPERC head RP Singh has ordered UPPCL and its discoms to refund the extra amount charged from consumers. UPERC has also directed these officials to appear before it in person or through legal representatives by October 21 to answer its queries and explain the status of implementation of refund.
According to the order copy of the commission, the cost data book issued by it in 2019 is not being followed by discoms in the state and the discoms have charged extra amount by means of estimate provided through ERP to consumers. “It appears a blatant disobedience of not only a regulatory order of the commission but that of a document such as ‘Cost Data Book’, which is in the nature of subordinate legislation,” read the order.
Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Consumer Council chairperson and member of the state advisory committee Avadhesh Verma told TOI: “The discoms generated more than Rs 100 crore from overcharging from new consumers. Discoms removed the UPERC order from their online software ERP and implemented the wrong order to extort money from consumers.”
He said, “Due to an arbitrary act of discoms to mint cash, power consumers of the state such as farmers were forced to cough up 18% GST on the estimate of new connection, which should be zero as farmers have been exempted from paying GST. Further, other consumers were made to pay up to 39% GST.”