Gujarat: GERC warns DISCOMS

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Ahmedabad, Jan 7: Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has warned the four state-owned distribution companies (DISCOMS) ''not to play with consumer safety which has been at stake for the past 40 years''.

The GERC stated that if Rule-33 of Indian Electricity Rules-1956 is not implemented, the Commission would have to penalise the DISCOMS under Section 142 of the Electricity Act-2003 and revoke the licences of all DISCOMS.

The Commission has also directed them to submit a detailed project report, including the cost of implementing Rule-33 and the action plan to provide separate earth terminals to all residential and commercial consumers of all four DISCOMS before January 31.

Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad, had petitioned the GERC about the non-implementation of Rule-33 of Indian Electricity Rules by the four DISCOMS.

The CERS had pointed out that Rule-33 states, ''The supplier shall provide and maintain on the consumer"s premises for the consumer"s use a suitable earth terminal in an accessible position at or near the point of commence of supply.'' During one of the hearings, the Commission had directed the Chief Electrical Inspector (CEI) to resolve this issue by calling petitioners and respondents and submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) but CEI failed to resolve this issue.

The CERS strongly objected to the way the issue of consumer safety is being handled by the monitoring bodies. The petitioner and the co-petitioner submitted a number of proposals to resolve this issue where the cost for every connection would be hardly Rs 30 per consumer. However, the DISCOMS gave a proposal which would cost Rs 300 per consumer.


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