THE CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION
Shri S.L. Rao, Chairman
Shri D.P. Sinha, Member
Shri G.S. Rajamani, Member
Shri A.R. Ramanathan, Member
the matter of
Fixation of Tariff for Kopili
Hydro Electric Project for
the Year 2000-2001
the matter of
Assam State Electricity Board and Others
of Hearing 4.5.2000)
The present petition has been filed by North Eastern Electric Power
Corporation Ltd.(NEEPCO) for
fixation of tariff for the year 2000-01 in respect of power supplied from
Kopili Hydro Electric Project. The beneficiaries include the Assam State
Electricity Board, Meghalaya State Electricity Board, Department of Power,
Govt. of Tripura, Power and Electricity Department, Govt. of Mizoram,
Electricity Department, Govt. of Manipur, Deptt. of Power, Govt. of
Arunachal Pradesh and Department of Power, Govt. of Nagaland who have been
impleaded as respondents in the present petition.
2. It has been stated that Kopili HEP comprises of two power stations,
namely, Khandong and Kopili. Khandong
power station came into operation during 1984.
Two units of Kopili power station were put into commercial
operation during 1988 and another two units during 1997.
It has been stated that in the 41st Board meeting of
NEREB, held in May, 1997 a tariff of 69.8 paisa /kWhr was provisionally
agreed to be charged. The
tariff provisionally agreed to was a single part tariff.
According to the petitioner, a two-part tariff proposal was sent to
CEA during March 1997. However,
the tariff was not finalised even till jurisdiction to regulate tariff was
vested in the Commission. Hence
the present petition has been filed before the Commission.
It has been explained that due to poor development of load in the
region, and also due to other constraints like inadequate transmission and
distribution system, it has not been possible to generate the design
energy as stipulated and the generating units had to be backed down which
affected the generation from the units.
3. The replies have been filed on behalf of Meghalaya State
Electricity Board and Assam State Electricity Board.
It may be stated that the reply filed by Meghalaya State
Electricity Board is not in the form prescribed by the Commission.
The averment relating to backing down of the plant has been denied
by the respondents. At the hearing, today, Shri D.N. Deka, SE (Comm.),
ASEB was present. The
representatives of other respondents were not present at the hearing.
4. Shri Parag.P. Tripathi, Sr.Advocate
appearing for the petitioner stated that the
provisional tariff @ 69.8 paisa/kWhr is
being charged by the petitioner since 1984.
The provisional tariff being charged presently is a single part
tariff NEEPCO has now submitted a proposal for a two-part tariff for the
year 2000-01. He stated that
the legal basis for a two-part tariff is laid in the Commission’s order
dated 4.1.2000 relating to Availability Based Tariff.
In support of the proposal for two-part tariff Shri Tripathi drew
support from the notification dated 30th March, 1992 issued by
Ministry of Power. He has
also pointed out that the respondents are in huge arrears since 1984 as
they have not deposited the full amount due on account of the provisional
5. The application of the principle contained in Government of India,
Ministry of Power notification dated 30th March, 1992 has been
disputed by the respondents. It has been stated on behalf of the respondents that as laid
down in para 3.4 of the above referred notification, the principles
contained therein apply to hydro power generating stations which commenced
operation on or after 1st January, 1997.
By referring to para 3.3 of the notification it has been further
stated that the notification applies for determining of the tariff for the
sale of electricity from such generating stations whose financial package
for investment is approved by CEA on or after the date of its publication
in the official gazette. On
the basis of these two conditions prescribed in the notification, the
applicability of the notification to Kopili and Khandong
project has been disputed. It
has also been alleged that the plant has not produced to its full capacity
and, therefore, the petitioner is not entitled to recover full capacity
6. At the hearing it was explained by the learned senior counsel for
the petitioner that about 150 kms of transmission line from BTPS to
Sarusajai has not been in commercial use
for about 1 ½ years because of the theft of certain portions of
the line and, therefore, power
could not be evacuated to Assam beyond Sarusajai.
He emphasised that
repair of the transmission line was the responsibility of ASEB.
He further explained that 3
transformers of 230 MW
capacity were out of operation.
The representative of Assam State Electricity Board present at the
hearing denied the point made by the learned senior counsel.
He stated that Assam State Electricity Board has been drawing power
from the plant as per its allocated quota.
The representative of Assam State Electricity Board contended that
the provisional tariff agreed to between the parties at NEREB forum cannot
be continued since it was not the competent authority for determination of
tariff, as such authority was vested in the Government of India, Ministry
7. We do not propose to go into the merits of the rival contentions at
this stage. We may note that
the jurisdiction to regulate tariff of central generating companies is
vested in the Commission w.e.f. 15/5/1999.
A notification was issued by the Commission on 12th May,
1999 setting out that w.e.f.
15th May, 1999 the existing tariff on that date would continue
to be charged for the period for which the tariff was approved or till any
further order in this regard is passed by the Commission. However, we in
the interest of continuity, have no hesitation to extend the principle
contained in the said notification dated 12th May, 1999 to the
present petitioner. We,
therefore, direct that the petitioner shall be entitled to a provisional
tariff of 69.8 paise/kWhr on provisional basis till final determination of
the tariff by the Commission. We
direct that the respondents shall honour the bills for provisional tariff.
8. As we have already noted, the learned senior counsel appearing for
the petitioner has informed that huge arrears have accumulated since the
respondents are not paying the full amount of provisional charges since
1984. We are conscious of the
fact that recovery of arrears
of charges under the
provisional tariff is not the subject
matter of the present petition and, therefore, we are not in a position to
give any direction to the respondents for payment.
The petitioner is at liberty to file an appropriate petition in
accordance with law before the Commission for recovery of arrears.
9. At the hearing a claim has been made that the Assam State
Electricity Board has not been drawing its full allocation of power
because a part of the transmission lines within its area was
stolen and has not
been restored so far and because of poor development of transmission and
distribution system, the plant had to be backed down.
These allegations have been denied.
In view of the dispute, we direct Member-Secretary, NEREB to submit
a report to the Commission on the question
whether or not Assam State Electricity Board has been able to draw
full share of power on the basis of capacity available because of the
transmission constraints noted above or for any other reason and
whether NEREB Secretariat had ordered backing down of capacity in view of
transmission constraint and/or inability of the beneficiaries to draw full
Member-Secretary, NEREB shall submit his report latest by 31st
10. The present petition shall be kept pending till finalisation of the
tariff norms. It shall be
competent for the petitioner to seek amendment to the petition in the
light of the norms that may be prescribed by the Commission.