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Reliance loses Round One: ATE rejects interim plea against Odisha power regulator’s orders


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 22:

The Appellate Tribunal on Electricity (ATE) Tuesday quashed two interim applications filed by the three distribution companies (discoms) controlled by Reliance Infrastructure challenging the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (OERC) order vesting the management and control of its three distribution utilities, along with their assets and interests, with Gridco’s chairman and managing director (CMD).

sagging power lines

“The ATE found no merit in the interim applications filed by Reliance Infra and hence dismissed them. The final order on revocation of licenses, however, stands reserved,” said an official of the OERC on Tuesday.

Reliance Infra had also challenged the order of OERC revoking the licenses of its discoms in the ATE in March this year. The ATE has completed hearing in the case and has reserved its verdict.

It may be noted here that in its March 4 order, state power regulator OERC had scrapped the licenses of three Reliance Infra companies – North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Nesco), Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Wesco) and Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Southco).

The licenses were revoked under Section 19 (revocation of licence based on public interest) of the Electricity Act, 2003 with immediate effect.

The licenses were withdrawn on grounds of non-satisfactory performance, failure to contain steep aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) losses and consistent defaults in payment for bulk power purchased from Gridco.

The Central Services Office (CSO), the umbrella organization of Reliance Infra for power distribution operation in the state, has also been disbanded.

In its order, OERC held that the Gridco CMD would manage electricity supply activities in the revoked license area of Nesco, Wesco and Southco till further orders of the commission.

The Gridco CMD was designated as the administrator of the three utilities under the supervisory control of principal secretary, Energy department of the state government until further orders.