The power tariff hike announced by the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has evoked sharp reaction in the Millennium City with the consumers terming it “unwarranted” and “unjustified”.

“The power hike announced by the HERC is unjustified. Instead of burdening people with the increased cost of power, the government must try and curb theft, pilferage and plug transmission and distribution losses. The people have the right to know why the tariff was increased and whether it could be avoided, said H. R. Bangia, a member of Gurgaon Renewal Mission, which is a forum of several non-government organisations, civil society groups and residents’ welfare associations.

The citizen activist rued that the tariff hike has come at a time when “the common man is reeling under high inflation due to the failure of the Central Government to control prices of essential commodities’’. Thus, he said, the power tariff hike would only mean an additional financial burden on the residents.

As per the distribution and retail supply tariff approved by the HERC for 2013-14, the tariff structure for the domestic consumers has been restructured into three categories to moderate the additional burden on low-end consumers.

For consuming 40 units per month, a consumer will now have to pay Rs.2.98 against the existing Rs.2.70 per unit. A new category of 41 to 100 units per month has been introduced with a tariff of Rs.4.75 per unit as against the existing Rs.4.50 per unit for 41-250 units.

For those consuming 100-800 units per month, the tariff has been fixed at Rs.4.90 per unit for the first 250 units, Rs.5.60 for 251-500 units and Rs.5.98 for 501-800 units. For consumption of more than 800 units in a month, the consumers will now have to pay Rs.5.98 per unit.

The domestic consumer has been hit the hardest with the HERC effecting a 25 per cent hike in the minimum monthly consumption charges increasing it from the existing Rs.80 to Rs.100 for up to 2 kilowatt load.