Power board officials in a fix over charging meter disconnection fee

SOLAN: The directions of the HP Electricity Regulatory Commission to charge a certain amount from departments ordering power meter disconnection of industrial units have put officials in a fix.

Power board officials in a fix over charging meter disconnection fee

Only in cases, where power meter disconnection is ordered by court, the departments will be exempted from these charges.

editorial@tribune.com

Ambika Sharma
Tribune News Service
Solan, December 7

The directions of the HP Electricity Regulatory Commission to charge a certain amount from departments ordering power meter disconnection of industrial units have put officials in a fix.

The commission passed the orders in June this year, which were part of the tariff order. It made it mandatory for officials of HP State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) to charge disconnection charges from various departments from July 1. But the officials are finding it difficult to implement the orders, it is learnt.

Officials of the State Pollution Control Board, Town and Country Planning Department and the Tourism Department order power meter disconnection of units violating norms. For getting the orders executed, the department concerned has to deposit Rs 500, Rs 1,000, Rs 1,500 and Rs 250, respectively, with the HPSEBL for small, medium and large units as well as other categories. They also need to deposit fixed charges for three months in advance to get their orders executed.

“Since these directions are part of the tariff order, the board has to implement them in letter and in spirit. It was observed that in some cases some officials were indulging in disconnection of power meters of some units, causing revenue loss. The issue has been brought to the notice of the commission, which after considering its various aspects, has imposed power meter disconnection charges on respective authorities,” said a senior official of the electricity board.

The order has, however, become a major headache for the officials of the State Pollution Control Board, which is facing problems in implementing it. Already facing NGT’s flak over the violation of the Air and Water Act by industrial units, the field officials said that the board could not bear these charges for every disconnection and ideally the erring unit should pay the amount.

Only in cases, where power meter disconnection is ordered by the court, the departments will be exempted from paying these charges.

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