State Electricity Companies Violate Commission’s order No earth terminal in new connections released

Ahmedabad, 10th August 2013

K.K.Bajaj of Consumer Education & Research Society , a pioneer recognized for taking initiatives to protect consumers interest in power sector of India and V.J. Vachharajani of Vadodara had filed petition in 2007 before Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission for not providing earth terminal to Gujarat consumers as per the Rule 33 of Indian Electricity Rules. This Rule clearly states that DISCOMs have to provide Earth Terminal at premises of consumers as it ensures the safety of consumers and also protect electrical gadgets of consumers against unexpected mishaps.

GERC vide its order passed after two years for Case No. 909/2007 issued the following directives that are to be followed by GUVNL & its four DISCOMs :

1. To release new connections with provision of Earth Terminal up to meter installed at premises of Consumers.

2. To submit plan for providing Earth Terminals for existing old consumers within fixed time limit.

3. Chief Electrical Inspector to monitor implementation of GERC directives

The violation of these rules comes as a shock, in spite of CERS writing frequently to GERC and constantly drawing its attention to the violation of the directives issued in the order and lack of implementation by Electricity Companies. On the contrary, data clearly indicates that more than one lakh new connections have been released by four DISCOMs without providing Earth Terminals in the recent past. Recently GERC has issued notices vide its letter dated 20-7-2013 to Managing Directors of GUVNL and four DISCOMs demanding their explanation for violation of GERC Order.

It is to be noted here that matter is pending before Gujarat High Court under PIL 97 / 2012 as GERC failed to implement its own order issued in 2009 and CERS waited for four years. Contrary to this violation of the order by State Electricity bodies, Torrent Power Ltd is providing Earth Terminals to all its consumers. Sadly, the lethargic approach of GERC has put lives of 1.2 crores consumers at high risk.

he Rule 33 of Indian Electricity Rules states that Electricity Supplier has to provide suitable earth terminal up to premises of consumers in order to give safety to human beings and electrical gadgets within the premises of consumers. CERS has been fighting for implementation of this Rule in Gujarat since 2006 . However, GERC has been refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation right from the beginning and has been delaying action on this matter for the last seven years. The expenditure involved for providing earth terminal has already collected by DISCOMs while providing new connections.

In line with its motive of consumer welfare, CERS has taken a rigid stand this time citing the constant refusal of Electricity Companies to implement the order. CERS has therefore requested GERC to impose penalty of Rs. One lakh as per Section 142 of Electricity Act and recover this amount from Managing Director of GUVNL and four DISCOMs and also from Monitoring Authority i.e Chief Electrical Inspector of Gujarat.

For further information please contact:

K.K.Bajaj : kabajaj2003@yahoo.com

CGM (Hon)
CERS – Ahmedabad

Gujarati Edition

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