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ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Wednesday failed to resolve a dispute on overcharging of Rs 4 per unit by Bahria Town to its electricity consumers as the Authority members were divided on the matter which is already in court.

The Authority comprising Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi, Member Sindh, Rafique Ahmad Shaikh, Member KP, Maqsood Anwar Khan and Member Balochistan, Mathar Niaz Rana officiated the public hearing on charging of excessive tariff by Bahria Town.

The representatives of Bahria Town acknowledged that they have charged Rs 4 per unit more from its consumers than other consumers of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), claiming that they are making a loss of Rs 7 per unit of which Rs 4 per unit was charged to the consumers.

The Nepra had directed Bahria Town to refund Rs 4 billion to its overcharged consumers but the matter is in the court where the latter has directed the Authority to resolve it.

During the hearing, the consumers complained that Bahria Town is charging excessive tariff and in case they refuse to pay, punitive actions are taken against them. The distribution licence of Bahria Town has already expired. The representative of Islamabad Electric Supply Company informed the Authority that the power utility company had opposed handing over its jurisdictional area to Bahria Town but is not ready to take it back as Bahria Town’s infrastructure is obsolete.

He, however, offered to accept the proposal of taking Bahria Town electricity network against Rs 10 billion.

Member Balochistan Mathar Niaz Rana proposed that a middle way be sought to settle the issue as Bahria Town is accepting that it is charging extra tariff of Rs 4 per unit.

During the hearing, the Nepra’s technical team noted that Bahria Town has provided ten-year data but it’s incomplete. A proposal was also floated that audit of data be conducted through external auditors to find out how much extra money has been charged by Bahria Town to its consumers.

Member Sindh, Rafiqfue Ahmad Shaikh argued that since the licence of Bahria Town has already expired, the consumers should approach Islamabad Electric Supply Company which is the first owner of this jurisdiction. On this point, differences were witnessed between the chairman and member Sindh.

One of the consumers proposed that the Iesco should take over electricity system of Bahria Town and tariff issue would be resolved. He offered to pay extra Rs 5 per unit if Iesco takes over Bahria distribution system.

After hearing of arguments and counter arguments, the Authority wrapped up the hearing without indicating when the determination will be issued.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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