On preliminary scrutiny of WESCO's application, it was noted that information and analysis with regard to a number of items which are extremely relevant for the determination of tariff had not been given. The Commission forwarded its comments/queries to WESCO vide letter No.1753 dt.30.09.2000 calling for clarifications as well as additional information.


In response, WESCO provided clarifications on 21th October, 2000. In the light of the clarifications to the comments/queries and additional information received from it, the filing was treated as complete and the application in question was admitted. The applicant was directed to publish a public notice on the proposed retail supply tariff, as per the format approved by the Commission so as to inform the public and to invite objections from the interested persons.


Notice was published in several local newspapers on two consecutive days in terms of Clause 39 read with sub-clause (1) of Clause-126 of the OERC (Conduct of Business) Regulations, 1996 (Regulations, 1996, for short) outlining the broad features of the Distribution & Retail Supply Licensee’s proposed tariff and the rates & charges in a Schedule appended to the notice and inviting objections from interested persons. The public notice required the interested persons to file their objections and documents as they sought to rely upon, supported by an affidavit and also to indicate if they would like to be heard in person by the Commission. The notice further required the interested persons to serve a copy of the reply/objection along with the documents relied upon on the petitioner/applicant and to file proof of such service before the Commission at the time of filing of the reply/objection.


The above public notice also called upon the interested persons/objectors to inspect/peruse WESCO’s application and take note thereof during office hours within 15 days of the publication of the notice. The public notice also informed that the interested persons could obtain the Salient Features of the Application on payment of Rs.30/- towards photocopying charges from Managing Director, WESCO, Burla and all Executive Engineers in charge of Distribution Divisions such as Sambalpur, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Bolangir, Titlagarh, Kalahandi West, Kalahandi East, Rajgangpur, Rourkela and Sundargarh


They could also obtain a full set of the application together with supporting materials on payment of Rs.100/- towards photocopying charges. The last date of filing of objection complying with the terms & conditions of the public notice was fixed to 25.11.2000.


The Commission received a total of 16 objections from the following parties: (1) M/s OCL India Ltd., Rajgangpur, Dist. Sundargarh (2) Aditya Aluminium, 333, Sahid Nagar, Bhubaneswar (3) Orissa Grahak Mohasangha, B-4, Pallaspali, Bhubaneswar (4) M/s Utkal Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd., Barabati Stadium, Cuttack (5) Rourkela Steel Plant Retired Employees Association, D-Block, Koel Nagar, Rourkela (6) Sundargarh District Employers Association, Basanti Nagar, Rourkela (7) Orient Paper Mills, Brajarajnagar, Dist. Jharsuguda (8) Grid Corporation of Orissa Ltd., Bhubaneswar (9)Orissa Consumers’ Association, Biswanath lane, Cuttack (10) M/s Larsen & Toubro Ltd., Kansbahal, Dist. Sundargarh (11) M/s Indial Aluminium Company (INDAL), Hirakud, Dist. Sambalpur (12) Rourkela Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Rourkela (13) Orissa Small Scale Industries Association, Industrial Estate, Cuttack-10 (14) Shri R.P. Mohapatra, 775, Jayadev Bihar, Bhubaneswar (15) S.E. Railway, Garden Reach, Calcutta. (16) Rourkela Steel Plant, Rourkela


Commission scrutinized all the objections received. Fourteen objections were admitted for hearing whereas objections of Sl. No.(12) & (16). The objection of Sl. No.(12) M/s Rourkela Chamber of Commerce & Industries & the objection of Sl. No.(16) M/s Rourkela Steel Plant were not admitted by the Commission for hearing due to their non-compliance with the terms & conditions as laid down in the aforesaid public notice. However, the issues raised by them in their objections have been taken into consideration.


The date of hearing was fixed to 18.12.2000 and Commission issued notices to the applicant M/s WESCO and the objectors to appear personally or through their authorised representative or duly constituted attorney for participation in the hearing. Due to the Postal strike, in the interest of public and as a matter of precaution, Commission published the notice indicating the date of hearing along with the list of valid objectors in the largest circulated Oriya daily "The Samaj" on 11.12.2000. Commission also issued notice to the State Govt. to appear as an interested party.


The applicant was given chance to file rejoinder, if any, to the objections filed by the objectors and accordingly the applicant filed its rejoinder on 11.12.2000.


As notified, the matter was heard on 18.12.2000. Shri N.D. Chawla, Managing Director, WESCO made an oral submission in support of the tariff application and prayed for approval of the tariff proposals. Objectors present were heard in person or through their authorised representatives. Director (Tariff) of the Commission raised certain queries to the applicant by way of clarification.


On 23 rd December, 2000, the applicant submitted clarification to the queries raised by Director (Tariff) and reply to the issues raised by the objectors during the hearing.




During hearing, some preliminary objections regarding the maintainability of this tariff proceeding were raised by some objectors. They are indicated below.


Commission has not prescribed any methodology and procedure for calculating the expected revenue from charges which the petitioner may be permitted to recover pursuant to the terms of its licence and for determination of the tariff to collect those revenues.


Tariff once fixed by the Commission cannot be amended within a financial year.


As per the provisions of Sec.57 & 57-A read with Sixth Schedule of Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948, no application for revision of tariff can be made within 3 years.


The present tariff filing of the applicant violates the provisions of Sec. 29 of the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998.


In the light of the Hon'ble High Court of Orissa's stay order dt.1.2.2000 relating to BST Order passed by the Commission on 30.12.99, the present tariff filing of the licensee is not maintainable.


Issues at para 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 were raised during tariff proceedings in case No.24/1999 and had been dealt by the Commission giving clear finding that these objections were not valid at all. The Commission finds no reason to depart from its decision and hence these objections have to be overruled.


As regards the objection raised in para 7.5 above, it has to be stated that a stay granted by the Hon'ble High Court on operation of tariff order dated 30.12.1999 in case No.12/1999 which was to be effective from 1.2.2000 has no relevance for this proceeding which is entirely different and has been initiated with reference to fresh filings for a subsequent period namely, with reference to revenue requirement for 2000-01.


We have also to note, as we write this order, Hon'ble Orissa High Court has been pleased to deal with these very preliminary objections and have not found validity in any of them in their order dated December 22, 2000 passed in M.A. No.51/2000. We, therefore, note that none of the legal objections by various objectors has any force and that we have to proceed accordingly to the procedure and principles established by us in the last three sets of tariff orders namely in March, 1997, November, 1998 and December, 1999.


We now proceed to examine the present tariff filing and give our findings on the same.


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