OC not mandatory for new pwer connections...KERC
Apr 12, 2015, Bangalore
People constructing new buildings can breathe easy as the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has set aside a State government circular that made occupancy certificate (OC) from civic agencies mandatory for getting new power connection.
Hearing a complaint by Vidyuth Grahakara Hitarakshana Vedike and others, a KERC bench comprising H D Arun Kumar and D B Manival Raju directed the electricity supply companies (Escoms) not to rely on the government circular in this regard.
"The impugned communications produced at annexure to the complaint shall not be relied on by the respondent distribution licensees in processing of an application for supply of electricity to any premises. The Escoms shall comply with relevant regulations and the conditions of supply while providing electricity connection to any premises," the order said.
Pointing out that electricity is an essential commodity, the bench observed: "Section 43 of the Electricity Act envisages a universal obligation on the part of Escoms to provide electricity on an application by the owner or occupier of any premises.
As per the act, the commission has been delegated with the powers to frame suitable regulations for supply of electricity to the consumers on such terms and conditions.
The Escoms, formed and approved by the KERC, are bound by terms and conditions specified by the commission. The commission has specified terms and conditions to supply electricity. People entitled to get power supply under the terms of the companies cannot be denied of electricity for any extraneous reasons." the bench observed.
Further, the bench noted, "Even a person whose occupation of a building is not as per the provisions of the Municipality Act and bye-laws, is entitled for supply of electricity to his premises if he satisfies the provision of the Escoms. In this way, the object of universal obligations to supply electricity is met with. Hence, the supply of electricity to an occupant of a building whose occupation may not be authorised under Municipality Act and bye-laws, serves a greater cause and does not amount to abetting any illegality."
The circular issued by the Urban Development Department (UDD) on May 27, 2014 says that the BBMP and the Bangalore Development Authority and other local bodies have been directed to look into encroachments and violations of the building bye-laws and issue occupancy certificates.
Though the UDD wanted it to be implemented only in BBMP limits, the Energy Department has extended the same to the entire State.