This is despite the fact that hydro power is sold much cheaper than thermal power as the latter requires continuous supply of coal.
A recent report from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has named power distribution companies of Delhi, among others from UP, Bihar and J&K, as persistent defaulters of Hydro Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE). The report, likely to be presented in the parliament in the next few days, comes after a draft CAG report in August had indicted three power discoms of Delhi of inflating dues worth Rs 8,000 crore.The report, a copy of which is with dna, states that the Delhi discoms BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) along with Uttar Pradesh Power Company Limited, Power Distribution Department, J&K and Bihar State Electricity Board have failed to clear dues of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN)and Tehri Hydro Power Complex (THDC), which has compounded to a whopping Rs 4112.49 crore in 2014-15, as against Rs 397.95 crore in 2009-10.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is despite the fact that hydro power is sold much cheaper than thermal power as the latter requires continuous supply of coal. The average market price of hydro power is Rs 2.25 to Rs2.50 per unit as against the average price of thermal power which ranges from Rs 3.80 to Rs 4.50 or even more.The CAG report also states that Delhi’s three discoms namely BRPL, BYPL and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) had not executed fresh agreements with hydropower CPSEs like NHPC, SJVN and THDC (only for BYPL) even though Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had allocated the power generated from them to the discoms.The report warns that the power supply situation in the capital could take a serious hit if the Hydro CPSEs execute the provisions of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Regulations of Power Supply), 2010, which empowers them to reduce the power drawing schedule of defaulting beneficiaries in the light of the dues to be recovered from discoms/State Electricity Boards.Defending their stance, a spokesperson from BSES said they are owed Rs 10,000 crore by both its discoms which the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had also admitted in its affidavit to the Supreme Court.”With the true-up for FY 14 and FY15, total money owed to BSES discoms is around Rs. 20,000 crore. When these amounts are cleared, dues to power utilities will be paid appropriately,” the spokesperson said.Talking about the delay in execution of fresh agreements with the hydro CPSEs, the spokesperson informed that some Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have recently expired, hence and that the BSES discoms are in discussions for their renewal on terms and conditions that would be beneficial for the Delhi consumers. “As per regulation, DERC approval is required for extension of PPAs on merit,” the spokesperson said.Similarly, a statement from TPDDL stated, “TPDDL continues to procure power from the stations of SJVNL and NHPC on the same terms and conditions as were present in the PPAs signed by erstwhile DVB/DTL. TPDDL has been pursuing SJVNL/NHPC for signing of supplementary agreement on same terms and conditions and their response/ signing of PPA is still awaited.”In the last few years, the cumulative dues of all the three Delhi discoms have compounded to nearly 30,000 crore. They suffered a big blow in September when the DERC in September refusing to hike power tariff rates till March 2016.In financial year 2014-15, the revenue gap for BRPL stands at Rs1,507crore, while in 2013-14, it stood at Rs837 crore. For BYPL, the revenue gap amount for 2014-15 stands at Rs1,020 crore and for 2013-14, it was Rs1,126 crore.According to industry experts on power, Delhi gets nearly 100% of its power from Central and State power generating stations like NTPC, which turns out to be more expensive as compared to other cities.“The cost of buying power for Delhi’s discoms has increased by around 300% while around 85% of the total discom cost is for purchasing power. After their privatisation, the discoms are unable to buy power at a lower rate, because of the long-term PPAs with power generators. Even DERC has not increased power tariff resulting in increased regulatory assets for the discoms,” a power expert said.Sources said the only option that can be availed by the debt-ridden discoms is the latest UDAY scheme announced by the central government that is aimed at easing the financial crunch faced discoms all over the country.Former power secretary Anil Razdan said it is important for discoms to carry out 100 per cent metering and reduce AT&C (aggregate technical and commercial) losses to decrease their revenue losses.