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JSERC gets life with new member

Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) sprang back to life on Friday after over a year with the induction of a new member, who completes the quorum required to ensure effective functioning of the authority.

Sunil Verma, a former member (economic and commercial) of Central Electricity Authority, New Delhi, and retired deputy comptroller and auditor-general, was sworn in as member (finance). Energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh delivered the oath of office to Verma at a simple function at Project Bhavan.

Also present was energy department’s principal secretary V.K. Singh.

“I am aware of the issues plaguing JSERC. I have just begun to familiarise myself and all I can say at the moment is that we shall sort out all matters, including revision of tariff proposals by the end of this March,” Verma told The Telegraph as he walked into his office at Sainik Bazar, Ranchi.

“I have had some experience with JSERC. As a member (economic and commercial) of Central Electricity Authority, New Delhi, I had done some consulting for JSERC on privatisation of power in Jharkhand some six years ago. However, now that I have joined JSERC, I shall ensure that all pending jobs are completed within a definite time frame,” Verma, who passed out from IIT, Kharagpur, with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1972, added.

JSERC had ceased to function since December 16, 2012, after its then chairman Mukhtiyar Singh, a former IAS officer and former finance commissioner, retired, leaving a lone member (engineering), T. Muni Krishniah, to fend for himself.

According to the JSERC Act, 2003, a quorum of two members is required to hear cases, determine power tariff and carry out its normal functioning. However with only one member, the regulatory body could not function for want of the required quorum.

JSERC is responsible for determining power tariff, hearing cases, issuing licences for distribution and transmission of electricity, adjudicating upon disputes between the licensees and generating companies, promoting generation of electricity from renewable sources and so on.

“Beginning tomorrow (Saturday), we shall function full steam. All backlogs will be cleared within a fixed timeframe,” a visibly happy Krishniah said.

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