The proposed hike in power tariff by the Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (SPDCL) is being vehemently opposed by the consumers who are already burdened with hefty fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) which was levied in September last.

Though the SPDCL cites many ‘obvious’ reasons like wide demand-supply gap, high power purchase cost and O&M (operational and maintenance) cost to justify the tariff hike, the consumers have no scope to escape from the additional burden in the offing at a time when the prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing.

According to official sources, the State-level power deficit for 2014-15 has been projected at 13,464 million units (MU), with the requirement and availability standing at 99,046 MU and 85,582 MU respectively.

Apart from this, many other factors like the revenue shortfall (which was nearly Rs 900 crore in 2013-14) are forcing the SPDCL to seek the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC)’s nod for the tariff hike proposal. Given the situation, the households are certainly in for a major shock and industrial consumers are also not going to have a reprieve from the hike, which is expected to be over 50 paisa per unit with effect from the beginning of 2014-15 financial year. “The SPDCL is forced to moot the proposal for the tariff revision due to rising costs and fall in power generation. It should not be seen as just a decision to generate more revenue,” said Chief Engineer K. Rajabapaiah. For common people, it is definitely a cause for worry as it will have a cascading effect on their budget, starting with the transportation sector. Speaking to The Hindu , Vijayawada Tax Payers’ Association secretary M.V. Anjaneyulu said it was outrageous to impose such burden on people at a time when price rise of essential commodities is burning a hole in their pockets.

“The tariff hike proposal is a conspiracy by the authorities to help the private companies by purchasing power from the latter instead of from the public sector units,” he said.

“It is undemocratic on part of the authorities to propose such tariff hikes, when there is no elected representative to oppose the decision,” said A.V. Gangadhar Rao, an LIC employee.

The SPDCL is forced to moot the proposal for the tariff revision due to rising costs and fall in power generation. It should not be seen as just a decision to generate more revenue.

K. Rajabapaiah,Chief Engineer

The tariff hike proposal is a conspiracy by the authorities to help the private companies by purchasing power from the latter instead of from the public sector units.

A.V. Gangadhar Rao,an LIC employee

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