Infalted work estimates: UPPCL hits the ground running day after commission’s notice

Only a day after being pulled up by the state electricity regulatory commission, UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) chairman M Devraj on Tuesday directed managing directors (MDs) of discoms to ensure immediate refund of excess amounts realised from consumers.

He also asked MDs to take action against the officials who charged consumers in excess of the rates prescribed in the cost date book issued by the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC). Ensure that all work estimates are issued strictly as per the prescribed rates only, the UPPCL chief added.

The UPERC had on Monday issued notices to the UPPCL chairman and MDs of all discoms instructing them to immediately refund the extra amount realised from consumers by way of inflated estimates, and appear before it on October 21 to inform the commission about the progress of the implementation of the refund.

In the circular issued on Tuesday, Devraj directed MDs to send him a report on compliance and action taken against errant officials by October 5. He said he had already issued written directions to discoms on August 24, 2020, asking them to ensure compliance with the cost data book.

Earlier, energy minister AK Sharma held a meeting with UPPCL officials to discuss the fallout of the UPERC’s notice and observations. He directed the officials to comply with the commission’s directives.

UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad chairman Avdhesh Kumar Verma, on whose petition the commission issued Monday’s notice, urged consumers to match the work estimates with the cost data book and contact their local executive engineer’s office for refunds if they were issued inflated estimates.

“We believe the UPPCL may have to return 100 crore at least to the consumers,” he said and demanded exemplary punishment to engineers for tampering with the cost data book, which, as the commission observed, was subordinate legislation.

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