Tribunal dismisses KSEB's appeal against KSERC's decision to annul power purchase contracts

SN Jayaprakash

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is facing an unprecedented crisis as the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has nullified contracts for purchasing electricity from private parties. The Central Administrative Tribunal dismissed KSEB's appeal against KSERC's decision, further exacerbating the issue.

Meanwhile, the differences between Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty and KSEB chairman Rajan N Khobragade IAS have placed the public-sector enterprise in a tough spot.

According to reports, Khobragade has reportedly refused the minister's directive to request KSERC to reconsider their decision. The chairman refused to hold talks with the minister and refrained from attending meetings. Following this, the minister issued an ultimatum in writing, directing the chairman to submit a report to the government.

State Regulatory Commission annulled four contracts --signed in 2014 to purchase 465 MW of electricity-- citing issues with the tender proceedings. As a result, KSEB is forced to buy electricity at a much higher price, leading to a massive financial burden. To avoid this, KSEB would have to rely on load shedding.

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