The Vijay Times - 9th Jan 2004
In a significant observation, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission
(KERC) on Thursday said that several grievances against the Electricity Supply
Companies in the State do not come to light because of the "grin and bear"
attitude of consumers.
The three-member Commission, comprising Chairman Philipose Mathai, H S Subramanya and S D Ukkali, said this while directing the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company to pay compensation of Rs. 32,000 to a city based NGO, Environmental Support Group, for the damage caused to office equipment due to voltage fluctuation.
The commission further stated that due to the attitude of the consumers, the laws relating to protection of life and property of electricity consumers should not remain the statute books and as a result of this, " we take this up as a suo motu case".
The commission further directed the respondent to compensate the NGO within 90 days from the date of the order.
Bescom advocate S S Nagananda, while denying responsibility for the incident state4e that the petitioner is not a registered customer and is using power for unauthorized commercial purpose. he also denied anuy kind of negligence on the part of the respondent. The respondent also stated that lack of protective equipment and ill-maintenance have led to the damage.
The petitioner, however, disagreed saying that the organization being a charitable institute received concession under various Acts. He further stated that despite his premises being equipp3ed with protective devices, computers and other equipment were damaged in the incident. He further said that he has the right to claim compensation as his institution is within the definition of a consumer. The Commission stated that the petitioner is being supplied with electricity, which makes him a consumer under law. It also said that there is no reason why KERC should disbelieve the petitioner that he has not installed safety devices as petitioner being an NGO is granted the status of a charitable organization under Income Tax Act.
Bescom asked to
The KERC has directed the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to refund Arpee Electrical Private Limited (AEPL) an amount of over Rs. 1.7 lakh with interest as it has failed to supply power to the extent of 200 kVA. On a petition filed by AEPL., the commission directed BESCOM to refund the deposit immediately after deducting 10 percent of the deposit according to regulation 8.08 of KERC code 2000-2001.
It is further stated that the petitioner is entitled to a simple interest at the prevalent bank rate of 6 percent per annum.
The Bescom denied that the company had made any deposits and there were no receipts or copies of correspondence to supprt the claim.
The KERC, however, observed that the petitioner had made all the deposits as demanded by authorities concerned and waited for three years to get power supply.