Staff Reporter

‘The decision is taken considering the interest of the general public’

Better service by proper maintenance stressed

Frequent power failure in some regions being investigated

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has rejected appeals of distribution companies that sought a hike in the domestic electricity tariff for the 2008-09 fiscal.

OERC’s decision that was released to the media on Monday was taken after consideration of loads of public objections and adverse opinion of State Advisory Committee (SAC) against the proposal.

“Considering the proposal of distribution companies, public objections, opinion of SAC and interest of the general public, the commission has decided not to increase electricity tariff in the financial year 2008-09,” an OERC statement said here.

Emphasising constant electricity tariff, OERC said better consumer services could be provided by proper maintenance of electricity line, transformers and substations as well improving quality of supply.

Despite upward revision of salary and pension, repayment of principal and interest of the borrowing and rising maintenance cost of electricity lines, the commission has not enhanced the tariff of domestic users since 2001.

Moreover, OERC appointed an independent Enquiry Committee for finding out reasons for frequent power failure in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. “This field inspection work is continuing presently in Cuttack Sadar, Athagarh, Salipur, Kendrapara, Marshaghai and Jagatsinghpur area. This enquiry will be extended to Berhampur, Kalahandi, Balasore and other areas of the state in future,” it said.

Tariff reduction

On the other hand, the commission directed reduction of the electricity tariff of agro-industrial consumers such as horticulture, pisciculture, sericulture and cold storage by 75 per cent.

“When the electricity tariff for the said category in FY 2007-08 was within the range of Rs.3.20 to Rs.4.50, it has now been reduced to the range of Rs.1.00 to Rs.1.10. Hence, the electricity tariff for the above category has been reduced by 73 per cent to 75 per cent,” it said.

Similarly, the Commission laid emphasis on the maintenance of high and extra-high tension lines and substations and made adequate financial provision for this. The Orissa Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) should make efforts to achieve the objective.

OERC also issued instruction for completion for all the substations, lines under construction in due time mainly in Bidanasi-Cuttack, Phulnakhara, Budhipadar-Bolangir line sub-station at Karanjia, Basta and Barapalli.

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