The Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Saturday alleged that consumers were made to pay at higher tariff rate due to inability of power distribution companies to bring down transmission and distribution losses.

Addressing a press conference the UCCI said Ramesh Mohapatra said, “Distribution companies ended off with transmission and distribution losses of about 39 per cent against 22 per cent losses fixed by the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission for the year 2010.” “Against the State requirement of power procured by GRIDCO from the generating station including the central power station, which is about 22,000 million units, about 4 per cent is transmission loss and about 35 per cent of the balance is distribution loss,” Mr. Mohapatra said.

“Year after year industries drawing power at 132 kv and 33 kv have been burdened with a substantial cross subsidy though the distribution companies are mandated to reduce subsidy,” he said.

UCCI president said the increased tariff for the industries compared to tariff of 2009-10 was more than 50 per cent and it would cripple industries.

“The power intensive industries in Andhra Pradesh are paying the tariff of Rs. 2.50 per unit compared to the Rs. 4.45 fixed by OERC in this tariff order.

It will be difficult for industries for economical operation in this State with this tariff. It will lead to closure of industrial units,” Mr. Mohapatra said.

Similarly, Bimal Kishore Mohapatra, president of Small Scale Industries group of UCCI, said the power tariff must be linked with quality of power being supplied to consumers.

“Before the distribution companies have made any investment on strengthening infrastructure for supplying quality power, they wanted to recover the fund by raising the tariff. It is really unfortunate,” he said.

The UCCI demanded there should not be further upward revision in the power tariff and distribution companies should be asked to bring down transmission and distribution losses.