Nageshwar blames government policies for increased burden of electricity bills on people
MLC K. Nageshwar lambasted government policies as the reason behind the increased burden of electricity bills on people and demanded a white paper explaining the hefty component of Fuel Surcharge Adjustment in the monthly power bills.
Speaking at the Round Table Meeting on Electricity Tariff Increase and FSA organised by the Federation of Associations of Colonies and Apartments (FACA) here on Thursday, Mr. Nageshwar called to mind the allegations of the ‘India Against Corruption’ about the undue hike in the gas price for Reliance Industries Limited.
“Power production capacity of up to 1,500 MW is lying idle in the State due to the shrunken natural gas production in the KG Basin,” he alleged.
Had the gas reserves been allotted to ONGC, the production cost would have been around USD 1.34 per mmBTU, whereas now the cost of imported gas is USD 14 per mmBTU, he said and questioned the motive of the RIL in agreeing to supply at USD 2.96 per mmBTU in Gujarat, and yet demanding higher price here. He criticised the policies as lopsided even when it came to signing the power purchase agreements. Due to such agreements, the government now has to either supply fuel, or pay fixed charges to the privately owned gas-based power plants.
He blamed the government for the deadlock in the coal mining now due to the scam-ridden coal block allocations, which is one more reason behind the heavy FSA burden. He mentioned the commercial losses endured by discoms due to the non-metered consumption, and criticised the failure of APGenco to upgrade the production as per the need.
“As the government is the reason for the whole botch-up, it should bear the FSA instead of burdening people with it. Now it has become a multi-class issue, with even very rich people joining the fray against the hefty bills,” Mr. Nageshwar said.
The general secretary of FACA V. Kamesh Babu proposed to conduct a meeting with all the stakeholders against the FSAs and increased energy charges.