Campaign on Universal Service Obligation
“The Campaign aims at getting the Central and state electricity regulators to issue an legally binding order, in which the concerned state electricity utilities/governments will have to comply with “Universal Service Obligation”, which is adequately defined, with time lines and milestones and the mile stones to incorporate some of the already existing provisions under the Electricity Act 2003, the National Electricity Policy 2005 and the Rural Electrification Policy 2006. It will further mandate that the Universal Service Obligation will ensure quality and quantity of supply and further mandate that as far as possible, modern and clean and local sources of energy is made available to people. ”
The specific state electricity regulatory commission that we would be approaching as part of the campaign in addition to the Central Electricity Regulator are Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Nagaland
Why Regulatory Approach as the Key Approach?
As of now, it is the regulator who can provide a legal framework which would be mandatory for Electricity Utilities to comply. A legal framework which is robust and ensures compliance is what is required. As mentioned earlier, there are enough policy framework and non-mandatory framework, but these have not delivered on the results of ensuring USO in the electricity sector.
However, the campaign also has a very strong public mobilisation component and would reach out to various stakeholders in each of the target states and Delhi and try forge a united approach to plea for a regulatory mechanism
Please do watch this space for regular updates as the campaign unfolds.