The Telegraph
Saturday , May 24 , 2014
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Power post to be filled

Calcutta, May 23: The Bengal government is set to appoint former Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) chief R.N. Sen as the chairman of the West Bengal State Electricity Regulatory Commission, which regulates the segment and sets power tariff.

Power department sources said the appointment of Sen, who retired from DVC a few months ago, had been finalised and the notification would be issued soon.

“I am yet to get the order. I am ready to assume charge if my selection is sanctioned. I had applied for the post when the vacancy was notified last year,” Sen told The Telegraph this afternoon.

According to the sources, the government is keen that the post is occupied by an official who will not be averse to keeping the administration in the loop when tariffs are revised.

Both government and private power utilities have to take the commission’s permission before revising tariff.

The commission has not been able to take decisions on power tariff regulation since last September because two of its three top members have retired.

The commission now has only one member — S. Dasgupta. While Prasad Ranjan Ray retired as chairman in September, the term of member Pranab Gupta ended in 2011. Every decision is taken after voting by the three top members.

Nabanna sources said the government was yet to start the process of selecting Gupta’s successor.

A source feared “political compulsions” could “gain precedence” over the power sector’s needs if the government tried to influence decisions on tariff.

Sen was chosen from a list of applicants to the power regulator chairman’s post by a selection committee. Retired high court judge Amit Talukdar, chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and Central Electricity Authority chairman Ravinder are members of the selection panel.

“Dasgupta (the lone remaining member of the regulator) was appointed when the Left was in power and will hold office till 2016. Sen will now be on top. The third slot will not be filled anytime soon,” a source said.