Reform To ’empower’ Tenants

Reform To ’empower’ Tenants

Tenants across Delhi will be the biggest beneficiaries when the new supply code and performance standards regulations issued by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission come into effect from September 1. In a major reform, the commission has done away with the requirement of tenants having to provide an NOC and proof of ownership from the landlord to get a direct connection from a discom.

A rent receipt -or a lease agreement -will now suffice.“The tenants, however, will only be able to use a prepaid meter.This is because it would be difficult to ensure payment of bills in case of a postpaid connection,“ a DERC official said. The rule change comes as a boost for tenants in the city who have long been forced to pay exorbitant flat rates as per the whims of landlords. On average, Delhi Police verifies 1.4 lakh new tenants every year.
Pramod Deo, former head of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, lauded the move.“This step was taken long back in Maharashtra. A utility provider should not be concerned about ownership status of a pro perty as long as proof of occupancy is there. In slums, many people cant show proof of ownership and they , too, can come into the mainstream,“ Deo said.

DERC is now inviting suggestions to the draft rules. From faster connections -deadline for the issuance of which has been reduced from 15 days to seven -to the option of conversion of single-point connections to individual for housing societies, the new rules propose several consumer-friendly reforms. “In bigger housing societies, the whole society has one connection and, thus, consumers are not able to avail of subsidy . Under the new rules, if two-thirds of the society agrees, the connections will be converted to individual,“ said the DERC official.
The draft rules seek to increase compensation for prolonged power cuts. Consumers will be eligible for a compensation of Rs10 per KWhour for delay in restoration, up to a maximum of Rs 200 per hour. If 10% of a subdivison has lost power, it will have to be restored in two hours, for 20% in three hours and, beyond, that within six hours.

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