J&K, Ladakh to have Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission

The Centre has approved Joint Electricity Regulatory Commissioner (JERC) for J&K and Ladakh.

A notification issued by the Union Ministry for Power said the JERC headquarters shall be located in the same city as that of the office of Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

With the constitution of the Commission, decks have been cleared for the Power department to file a fresh tariff revision petition before the new body which has replaced the erstwhile State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). The SERC was disbanded by virtue of J&K Re-organization Act-2019.

Last year, the department had filed a power tariff revision petition before the SERC. However, the plea turned infructuous after the Commission was shut down.

A senior power department official said a fresh petition will be filed before the JERC for revision of power tariffs.

“There has been no revision in tariffs for the last five years,” the official said.

The Power department through Chief Engineer Commercial and Survey Wing had filed a petition before the erstwhile State Electricity Regulatory Commission to seek revision in power tariff for distribution segment for 2019-20, last year.

However, due to communication blockade in entire Kashmir, the SERC could not immediately proceed with the petition as it was required to be put in public domain for inviting objections and suggestions.

It was only on 22 October 2019 that the petition was put in the public domain through newspapers to invite objections, suggestions and comments from various stakeholders.

However, the entire exercise came to naught as the Government later accorded sanction to the winding up of the SERC consequent upon repeal of the J&K State Electricity Act-2010 in the wake of the passage of the J&K Reorganization Act by Parliament in the first week of August 2019.