The Vidyut Lokpal (ombudsman) of Nagpur ruled that if due to natural calamity the power supply is disconnected and if the power supply is not restored in time then the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) should not be held liable.
Krishna Balpande a farmer in Samudrapur in Wardha district had earlier submitted a complaint with the ombudsman in which he mentioned that the MSEDCL failed to restore power supply given to his field, hence the company should pay him Rs 50 per hour compensation. The farmer had installed 3 HP agricultural pumps in his field. In June 2018 due to thunderstorm the power supply infrastructure was damaged and power supply was disconnected.
The power supply was restored in September 2018. Considering the delay in restoring the power supply, the farmer lodge complaint with the Wardha internal complaint redressal unit and demanded compensation. However, the unit rejected the application due to which the farmer approached the consumer forum, Nagpur. But giving a reason for delay in filing a complaint the consumer forum rejected the application after which the consumer lodged a complaint with the ombudsman.
In his complaint, the farmer complained that on August 4, 2018, the power supply was disconnected. When the MSEDCL local office inspected the spot, they found that due to thunderstorm the power supply pole was damaged which resulted in the power disruption. In Hinganghat taluka as the electric poles were damaged power supply was disturbed and due to continuous rain, MSEDCL failed to restore the power supply. On September 17, 2018, the company restored the power supply to the complainant.
On the other hand, MSEDCL claimed that as per the rules if the power supply is disrupted due to natural calamity then MSEDCL would not be responsible for any compensation. The ombudsman accepted the claim and rejected the application of the farmer. The executive engineer of Hinganghat Hemant Pawde and law officer Dr Sandip Kene represented MSEDCL.
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