A total of 71 people, including 39 on Saturday, spoke during the three-day virtual public hearing on new electricity charges for the financial year 2023-24 organised by Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) here at the Corporate office of AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL).
APERC Chairman Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy said the programme concluded on Saturday with suggestions and objections from the registered people across the State, as well as from the distribution companies like APEPDCL and the State Energy department. Seventy-five centres were set up under the jurisdiction of the three Discoms to enable people to speak directly to the Commission panel through the live video conference, he added.
“Some speakers mentioned issues that are not relevant to the Commission, but we will refer them to the relevant departments and look into only the issues that the Commission can address,” he said.
Justice Nagarjuna Reddy said that the APERC would try to organise the public hearings in virtual mode in future too as it received positive response from the people, particularly speakers from rural pockets.
State Energy Department Joint Secretary B.A.V.P. Kumar Reddy spoke on behalf of the State government and the measures taken for improvement of power supply and subsidies to all eligible sectors including farmers. Explaining the importance of installing smart meters for agricultural connections, he said the State is showing interest on the smart meters to provide quality power supply and create accountability among farmers. “The beneficiaries of the smart meters project will not be burdened and the entire project cost will be borne by the government,” he said.
Earlier, the CMDs of three Discoms spoke about the status of their respective companies in terms of revenue and expenditure, and the projection reports submitted to the Commission.
Meanwhile, in a press release, CPI State Secretary J.V.V. Satyannarayana Murthy said that the APEPDCL officials submitted wrong estimates to APERC on smart meters for agricultural connections.
“APEPDCL officials collected only 0.26% smart meter readings (2,145 out of total number) and estimated the remaining 99.74% meter readings based on the collected readings, prepared a report and submitted it to the APERC,” Mr. Murthy said.