Exams in the time of power cuts

Exams in the time of power cuts

Making matters worse, is the delay in appointing a Chairman to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) as this is likely to affect the power reforms, including the power purchase agreements (PPAs).  

All the earlier promises of providing uninterrupted power supply to help students, has now fallen flat, with unabated power cuts. Bangalore which earlier enjoyed a degree of insularity with regard to power cuts, now finds itself subject to several hours of power cuts a day. Not surprisingly, this is contrary to the official stance, who maintain that power cuts are being inflicted only for one hour a day.

Deficit

At present, the State is facing a deficit of 15 million units, as the demand has surged to 125 million units. The State which had promised to purchase power like the previous year to meet the gap will now be delayed without the vacancy being filled. With no Chairman at the helm of KERC, the idea of entering into PPAs like last year to meet the deficits have hit a roadblock. K P Pandey, former Chairman, KERC had demitted office on December 14, 2009.

According to official sources in the Energy Department, several regulatory frame works and reforms are hit due to this. “KERC being a regulatory authority, the appointment of Chairman holds significance as he forms the full bench required to monitor and regulate,” says an official source.

According to the Section 85 (2) of Electricity Act 2003, the appointment procedure should have begun six months before the relinquishing of the office by the existing Chairman, with the formation of a committee.

The three member committee comprising of a retired High Court Judge, Chief Secretary of the State and Chair Person of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) or Central Electricity Authority (CEA) according to the Act must recommend two names for the post of Chairman, KERC within three months after constituting the committee.

Though the Committee is said to have screened the list of 23 candidates and has submitted the two names, the government has kept the appointment in abeyance.

“This will create a serious situation in the State, which is dogged by power problems, because the KERC exercises suo motu powers and can interfere and check problems like load shedding, there are several examples of such during the tenure of former Chairman Philipose Mathais,” said Sridhar Prabhu, a City based advocate and a power expert.

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