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Airports in State enjoy reduced power bills

Swathi.V
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Tariff for all airports in State reduced by Rs.0.56 per unit

Here is another reason to fume and rage, for all the ordinary power consumers in the State harried by the extraordinary surcharges in their power bills.

While bus stations and railway stations serving the poor and middle income groups in the State are taxed heavily under the ‘Commercial’ category of power consumption, the airports here enjoy the privilege of reduced tariff under a recently created category ‘Aviation Activity at Airports’.

The AP Central Power Distribution Company, which does not budge from charging even the Surabhi Theatre Group for the “commercial” consumption despite repeated appeals from the latter, is now forced to reduce the tariff for the aviation-related consumption of all the airports in the State by Rs.0.56 per unit.

Before the recent tariff revision, airports too were paying under the HT-II (Others) category for which the present energy charges are Rs.5.10 per unit at 132-KV supply, Rs.5.35 per unit at 33-KV supply and Rs.5.97 per unit at 11-KV supply.

However, the latest Retail Tariff Order issued by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission saw the creation of a special category HT-III (Aviation) under which the energy charges were fixed as Rs.4.54, Rs.4.86 and Rs.5.39 respectively for the aforesaid voltages.

Accordingly, the airport activities will fall partly under the newly created category related to aviation, and partly under HT-II (Others) related to non-aviation activities. The Commission has also asked the consumers to segregate loads and install separate metering for these two activities. Till such separation is done, billing is to be done based on “notional percentages”, which range between 61 per cent and 85 per cent for aviation-related activities of different airports in the state. It effectively means that the GMR International Airport at Shamshabad is paying Rs.0.56 per unit less for the approved 61 per cent of the total consumption.

The average number of units per month consumed by the international airport, for instance, hovers around 45 to 50 lakh, of which 27.5 lakh to 30.5 lakh units are now being charged under the aviation head as per the order.

Rs. 2 cr. loss annually

Calculated at Rs.0.56 per unit, it means a revenue dent of Rs.15 lakh to Rs.17 lakh per month for the loss-making discom which is presently on a surcharge spree. Annually, the loss from this single consumer amounts to over Rs.2 crore! Further, the orders were to be implemented with retrospective effect from 2010. It means that the company will have to return the additional amount charged during the previous two years by adjusting the same in the present bills.

Thankfully, CPDCL has thought better of it and approached the Supreme Court against the order. A case is presently being heard, even while the airports enjoy the gift by APERC.


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