SC Refuses Extension to BSES Cos for Clearing NTPC Dues
Court’s vacation bench rejects interim application and asks cos to pay money first
The national capital is staring at possible power cuts at the peak of summer as the Supreme Court refused to extend the deadline for Delhi’s Anil Ambanicontrolled electricity distribution companies (discoms) to pay arrears owed to state-run power producer NTPC.
Early this month, the Supreme Court asked BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna to pay .` 690 crore to NTPC or be ready for power cuts from May 31. The discoms have not been able to manage the funds. On Monday, the companies approached the court to seek an extension for the payment, but a vacation bench rejected their interim application and asked them to pay the money first. A senior NTPC official confirmed the development
The discoms, meanwhile, have also requested the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to allow them to recover their arrears from consumers to be able pay NTPC for the electricity purchased from it. The regulator has yet to make a final decision on the demand. NTPC is in no mood to oblige BSES that approached the top court early this year to prevent the country’s largest power producer from pulling the plug. On May 15, NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury told ET that the company has no choice but to disconnect power supply to Delhi if BSES discoms fail to pay their bills. BSES is under pressure since the beginning of this year. In January, the then Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the Comptroller and Auditor General to audit the accounts of BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and Tata Power Delhi Distribution, accusing the discoms of manipulating their accounts and levying higher tariff on consumers. Incidentally, the Delhi government is a minority stakeholder in the BSES discoms.
Discoms have requested DERC to allow them to recover their arrears from consumers to be able pay NTPC