New Delhi: All power distribution companies (discoms) in the country will have to pay customers for unscheduled power cuts — an option that cash-starved state power facilities often resort to for artificially reducing demand and buying additional electricity.
"Discoms have to pay penalty for power cuts not caused by technical faults or natural disasters. It (compensation) should be credited into their accounts," power minister R K Singh said and added that the details of the plan are being worked out.
The moves comes as the government is trying to fulfil its commitment of 24×7 power supply mentioned in the 'Power for All' document. The penalty, if enacted, will be the second tough measure taken by the ministry in recent times to tighten the noose around discoms. Last month, the government enacted tough laws for timely payments by discoms to power stations.
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However, the move has not received a heartening response from industry players who are of the opinion that it will be hard to determine wilful blackouts, most of which can be passed off as technical faults.