SPDCL to follow suit in respect of the Kuppam RESCO soon
: The Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) of Andhra Pradesh took over the business activities of Anakapalle (Kasimkota) and Cheepurupalli Rural Electric Cooperative Societies Limited (RESCOs) in the absence of a recommendation by the government to AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to exempt them from obtaining the license for undertaking distribution and retail sale of power for the FY 2021-22.
The Southern DISCOM is bound to take over the business activities of Kuppam RESCO for the same reason as above.
According to official sources, the APERC issued an order to CMDs of EPDCL and SPDCL on March 25, 2021 to take over the activities of the three RESCOs but they (RESCOs) received no instructions to that effect from the Department of Co-Operation.
The managing directors of the RESCOs have filed applications with the APERC with requisite fees seeking exemption from having licenses in their respective areas but the same were returned to the RESCOs since the government has not recommended exemption of the licenses, which are mandatory under Section.13 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
The APERC had ruled that the RESCOs are not entitled to function as per law in the absence of licenses or exemption from the same. It had thus prepared the ground for the takeover of RESCOs by the respective DISCOMs as a prelude to the settlement of the issues related to their (RESCOs’) assets and liabilities by the competent authority.
A top official of EPDCL told The Hindu that formalities for taking over the licensed activities of Anakapalle and Cheepurupalli RESCOs except the entrustment of their assets and liabilities (to the DISCOM) have been completed recently.
The supply and maintenance of power, release of new connections and billing and collection have been taken over for now. The RESCOs are barred from engaging new staff (permanent or outsourced) and giving promotions to the existing employees and were instructed to make bill payments with the concurrence of the EPDCL officials concerned.
A senior official in the AP Power Coordination Committee said the RESCOs were set up in the country as pilot projects way back in the 1960s and 1970s to achieve the goal of faster rural electrification. In Andhra Pradesh, the RESCOs were established through the AP Rural Electric Cooperative Societies (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1998, he said, while hinting at some problems that prevented their merger with the DISCOMs.
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