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Updated: February 22, 2013 12:43 IST

People protest against power tariff hike proposal

Special Correspondent
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Police arresting a woman protester during the APERC public hearing at AMCOSA hall in the city on Thursday. Photo: A. Manikanta Kumar
The Hindu
Police arresting a woman protester during the APERC public hearing at AMCOSA hall in the city on Thursday. Photo: A. Manikanta Kumar

The hike proposed by EPDCL is the third highest among four Discoms

People belonging to various walks of life registered their strong objection to power tariff hike proposal made by EPDCL at a public hearing held by APERC here on Thursday.

Amid strong protests, many sought APERC to reject the claim of EPDCL for annual revenue requirement of Rs.8,968 crore and the need for increasing tariff by Rs.2,851 crore. Many objected when EPDCL Chairman and Managing Director Ahmed Nadeem claimed that even after enhancing tariff as per their proposals, they would be left with a net deficit of Rs.21.1 crore.

The hike proposed by EPDCL was the third highest among four Discoms. The highest was by CPDCL Rs.5,661 crore followed by SPDCL Rs.3,073 crore crore. The lowest hike is proposed by NPDCL at Rs.1,133 crore.

Merchant plants

CPI district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy said that during the first quarter of 2012-13 there will be an additional burden of Rs.155 crore, which was imposed by diverting gas from plants with PPAs to merchant plants of Lanco and GMR. During 2010-11 and 2011-12, Rs.865 crore was levied in the State due to allocation of gas to the two merchant plants.

Blaming the government for totally mishandling the situation, he said since 2010-11, the power consumers had to pay Rs.1,118 crore additionally.

The same should be recovered from the merchant power plants, he demanded and pointed out that if handled properly, there would be hardly any need to collect fuel surcharge proposed by DISCOMs for second quarter of 2013.

CPI (M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao termed the proposal to reintroduce non-telescopic system of tariff for domestic category as ‘unfair and irrational’. He said for a monthly consumption of 100 units at Rs.2.60 per unit, a consumer had to pay Rs.260. If he consumed 101 units, under the new system, his bill would be Rs.570.65 at the rate of Rs.5.65 per unit forcing him to shell out Rs.310.65 for consuming just one more unit.

TDP leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said the tariff proposals were being made due to inefficiency of Discoms and revenue leakages and asked APEPRC to reject the proposals.

Thota Raju from YSR Congress said power tariff was not increased when Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was the Chief Minister. Only after his death, the Congress government had enhanced tariff several times casting a huge burden on the common man.

General secretary of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha Gade Diwakar wanted to know why gas from KG basin was not being used for power generation instead of punishing consumers with fuel surcharges and other frequent power tariff hike. He said the merchant power policy was also detrimental to the interest of common man.

Sridhar Prabhu, a representative from ferro alloys and B.S.S Narayana, representing Synergy Castings, said the EPDCL proposed hike was highly unrealistic and would derail investments in the State.

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