Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed on Tuesday said a hike in power tariffs had become inevitable in the State.

At a press conference here, the Minister said the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) expected its operations during 2014-15 to run up a revenue deficit of more than Rs.2,900 crore at the existing tariffs. Only a tariff revision would enable it to recover at least part of the increased expenses it had to incur on power purchase.

He said the KSEB had presented its financial position before the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission. It had also put forward some proposals. A final decision in the matter would come from the commission, which would study the accounts, organise public hearings to gather objections from the consumers and then issue its order. These procedures would take around four months to complete.

Mr. Mohammed said Kerala’s predicament was that availability of cheap power from hydro sources had been remaining constant for decades, while the consumption of power had been going up steadily, forcing the KSEB to purchase more power from other sources to meet the demand. Energy from liquid fuel power stations was becoming costlier each passing year.

In the next 676 days left for the completion of its five-year tenure in office, the UDFgovernment proposes to give 8.7 lakh new power connections in the State, Mr. Mohammed said.

He said an ongoing drive under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana would soon lead to electrification of all households in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and Malappuram districts. By September this year, the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Ernakulam too would achieve “total electrification.”

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