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KERC to submit proposal for power hike before May 15

Special Correspondent
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Marked reduction in T&D loss in Escoms: Srinivasa Murthy

M.R. Srinivasa Murthy
M.R. Srinivasa Murthy

M.R. Srinivasa Murthy, Chairman of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), has said the KERC will submit its recommendations on the plea by the electricity companies for a hike in power tariff to the State government before May 15.

In a brief chat with presspersons after chairing the public hearing on the petition made by Gescom for increase in power tariff hike in Gulbarga city on Wednesday, Mr. Srinivasa Murthy gave broad indications that the KERC was not in favour of accepting, in toto, the demand for increase of 66 paise per unit of power by the electricity companies, and that it would be less than this demand.

Mr. Srinivasa Murthy also ruled out any reduction in the existing power tariff and said the production cost of power from all sources, except hydel source, was going up every day. In Karnataka, the exploitation of the hydel sources has been very high and very little opportunity is now available to tap fresh hydel sources.

To a question, Mr. Srinivasa Murthy said only one private power manufacturing company in Mangalore had applied for licence to supply power to consumers in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) there and the KERC has not take any decision on that application. If there are applications from private players for the supply of power in other areas, the KERC would consider it, he said.

He said the marked reduction of transmission and distribution (T&D) loss in different Escoms was the one good thing which had happened in the power sector in the State.

Even now, the T&D loss in Hescom and Gescom continues to be high when compared to other electricity companies.

Vacancies

Mr. Srinivasa Murthy said, on an average, there are 40 per cent vacancies in all the Escoms and instructions have been issued to the companies to evaluate all the vacancies and fill up only the most essential posts on permanent basis, and fill up the remaining vacancies on contract-basis by outsourcing them.

Earlier, during the public hearing, Mr. Srinivasa Murthy directed Gescom MD Pallavi Akurathi to send a detailed report on the plea made by Hindustan Petroleum Company Ltd. to consider them as an industry while billing for the electricity used by them in their filling plant at Kesaratigi on the outskirts of Gulbarga. The HPCL authorities, in their submission, said in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh the electricity companies considered the filling plants of the petroleum companies as industry and charged accordingly, unlike in Karnataka where the billing is made on commercial basis.

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