Calcutta, Sept. 17: The Bengal government has set up a committee to appoint the chairman and another top official of the state power regulator, which had become defunct with the retirement of two of its three decision-making members.
While Prasad Ranjan Ray retired on September 12 as the chairman of the West Bengal State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the term of engineer Pranab Gupta ended in 2011.
The commission now is left with only one member, which means key decisions such as fixing power tariffs cannot be taken in the absence of a majority.
Sources said the selection committee had retired high court judge Amit Talukdar, chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and Central Electricity Authority chairman Ravinder as its members.
The panel is expected to take at least two months to complete the selection process, the sources added.
According to a Writers’ official, the selection committee will give advertisements in leading newspapers inviting applications for the posts.
After receiving the applications, the committee will examine them, conduct interviews and select the two officials.
“The process takes two months, at least,” the official said, adding that the government should have ideally set up the selection panel in May or June.
The commission is headed by a three-member board that includes the chairman and two members. The three posts are usually assigned to retired senior government officials for five years or till the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
“Now that the committee has finally been formed, the vacancies should be filled this year,” a power department official said.
Retired IAS officer S. Dasgupta, who is the only decision-making member of the power regulator, will remain in office till 2016. But he cannot take key decisions as he needs the approval of at least one other member of the commission.
The power regulatory commission was constituted by the state under the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998. It started functioning in 1999.