Govt to pay damages to consumers for load sheddings: Union Power Minister

Union Minster R K Singh Sunday said the aim of the Centre is to have “One Nation One Grid” and pay damages to consumers in case of load sheddings.

The government will soon go ahead with structural reforms to achieve the objective of “One Nation One Grid”, Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman had said in her budget speech earlier this month.

“The government will pay damages (to consumers) if load sheddings happen,” the Union Power Minister said without elaborating.

The ministry would seek the Union Cabinet’s nod for the power tariff policy in next few days, which would provide for penalty for unscheduled power cuts except in the case of technical faults or act of God (natural calamities), Singh had said on the day of tabling the Union budget.

Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman had announced in the budget that a package for the power sector would soon be brought by the government. The government intends to provide ’24X7 Power to All’ at affordable rates. Therefore, there would be a provision in the tariff to cap transmission and distribution losses. Once the tariff policy is approved, the distribution companies would not be allowed to pass on these losses beyond 15 per cent.

After inaugurating the Power Grid VishramSadan at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here Sunday, Singh said, “Before 2014, many people whose houses did not have electricity used to think whether they would ever get it. Now these deprived people have electricity at their homes.”

The Centre is focusing on VishramSadans (rest houses) where patients from poor economical background would be treated, he said.

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited has the authority to construct such VishramSadans, he said.

Singh suggested that a 100-bed VishramSadan be constructed at the RIMS.

A trauma centre was also inaugurated at the RIMS.