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Consumers appeal against proposed hike in power tariff

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MAKING A POINT: Consumers speaking during the public hearing in Mysore on Monday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
MAKING A POINT: Consumers speaking during the public hearing in Mysore on Monday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Special Correspondent

They made their observations at a public hearing conducted by KERC

  • CESC urged to function more professionally
  • `Proposal of CESC is contrary to guidelines of Act'

    MYSORE: Power consumers, commercial and domestic, have made a strong plea against the increase in tariff proposed by the Chamuneshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC).

    The consumers made their submissions at a public hearing organised by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) here on Monday and called for rejecting the CESC's proposal to increase tariff.

    They claimed the CESC was guilty of mismanagement and the increase in tariff could be obviated if the corporation was run more professionally, strived to reduce Transmission and Distribution (T and D) losses and collected pending arrears from defaulters among others.

    The Karnataka State Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) appealed to the KERC to direct the CESC to introduce ensure proper billing, including electronic billing and accounting system.

    It suggested that the CESC borrow funds from financial institutions for capital investment. The KASSIA argued against the increase in tariff in view of good rain as a result of which power utilisation by IP sets had reduced.

    The Mysore Grahakara Parishat submitted a petition against the increase and argued that the Electricity Act, 2003 is the fundamental law governing electricity supply in India and according to the Act, electricity tariff should progressively reduce and eliminate cross-subsidies. The proposal of CESC, said the MGP, was contrary to these guidelines and tended to increase the cross-subsidy. The exclusion of Bhagya Jyothi and Kutira Jyothi schemes and irrigation pump from the tariff increase would increase cross-subsidy from other users of electricity and thus violated the Act.

    The MGP suggested that the CESC could exclude Bhagya Jyothi and Kutira Jyothi schemes and irrigation pump sets from the increase but the Government should subsidise these users and reimburse CESC the cost of the subsidy and this should not be passed on to the general consumers. Since all power supply companies in Karnataka had filed for the same tariff hike of 40 paise a unit, it was clear that their filings were based on average cost and not actual cost.

    Violation

    Citing an example, it said the supply cost of Mangalore Electric Supply Company could be higher because of Tannir Bavi's barge mounted power plant, but consumers of other supply companies, including CESC are being asked to share this increased cost which violates the letter and spirit of the Act, the MGP said.

    The Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM), the Akhila Bharateeya Grahaka Parishat, the Hebbal Industrialsts Association, BWSSB, coffee growers from Kodagu and Hassan and scores of others argued against the proposed increase in power tariff. The KERC chairman K.P. Pandey and members H.S. Subramanya and S.D. Ukkali were present.

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