Special Correspondent

Public hearing held on tariff proposals Public hearing held on tariff proposals

'Consumers made to shell out Rs. 1,100 cr. due to `fraudulent' provisions of PPAs' Reduction sought in rates for HT users, Railways

HYDERABAD: The burden on consumers due to pendency of power-related cases in the High Court was highlighted by AP Transco CMD Rachel Chatterjee and petitioners at a public hearing on the tariff proposals for 2006-07 conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission here on Tuesday.

24 cases pending

Ms. Chatterjee and others pleaded for early disposal of the cases in the interests of the consumers.

She told the packed court-hall that 24 cases pertaining to private power projects of Lanco, Spectrum and GVK were pending before the High Court.

Eight were related to the issue of the Commission's jurisdiction, which was challenged by the private projects.

As this issue was not resolved, 11 cases filed before the APERC by AP Transco and other parties were not heard.

Consumers pay

Earlier, M. Venugopala Rao, a journalist, and A. Punna Rao of Energy Conservation Mission said that the consumers were made to shell down Rs. 1,100 crores up to August last as per the "fraudulent" provisions of the PPAs of these projects.

They said all the stay orders issued by the High Court while dealing with petitions filed by the Transco had gone in favour of the private power developers.

They complained that the APERC was itself not quick in clearing pending cases.

CPI(M) secretary B.V. Raghavulu raised this issue through submission presented in absentia.

"The jurisdiction issue would have been resolved by now if the APERC had taken a pro-consumer approach on the petitions filed before it since 1999," he said.

Ms. Chatterjee stuck to her guns on the tariff proposals--to reduce the rates for HT users by 14 paise per unit and by 20 paise for the Railways and keep them intact for other sectors.

Interestingly, none of the seven petitioners who participated in the hearing out of the listed 18 objectors, touched upon the tariffs. Instead, they spoke on other issues.

K. Raghu, an engineer, suggested diversification of the activity by Transco and distribution companies--into gas supply, cable-TV network, broadband service, using the transmission lines, as provided under the Electricity Act of 2003.