The four power distribution companies continue to seek huge additional sums as fuel surcharge adjustment charges (FSAC) from consumers in addition to the frequent increase in tariff.

Five days after approval of their proposal by Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to collect an amount of Rs 609.30 crore as FSAC for 2012-13 third quarter (October, November and December 2012), they filed proposals on Monday before the commission for the fourth quarter, seeking yet another Rs 1,137 crore.

If this is cleared by the APERC, the consumers will have to shell out Rs 1.027 extra on each unit consumed by them during the month shown in the monthly bills. The discoms have already placed an unbearable burden of Rs 18,307.52 crore on the consumers so far through the backdoor method of -FSAC (Rs 12,134.52 crore) and by way of regular tariff hike (Rs 6,173 crore).

The fresh move by the discoms comes as a shock because only a few days ago, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had re-assured people that there would not be any more FSAC for this year.

Heavy purchase price

The utilities said it was the heavy purchase price at which they were forced to buy power from outside sources during that quarter (January, February and March 2013), which prompted them to propose yet another FSAC instalment. They attributed the shortage to shutdown of a huge installed capacity of 2,635 MW under hydel stations of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar and 2,774 MW under gas-based projects, for want of water and gas.