Andhra Pradesh

‘True-up’ electricity charges come as shock to consumers

CPI(M) activists taking out a rally against the ‘true-up’ charges in Prakasam district on Thursday.  

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) allowing the power distribution companies to recover the ‘true-up’ charges amounting to ₹3,669 crore during this fiscal year has come as a rude shock to the consumers in Prakasam district.

Those who are living in rented houses and shifting from one to the other now have to shell out two to three times more as electricity charges for the power consumed by the previous tenants between 2014-15 and 2018-19 fiscal years as the landlords are in no mood to oblige them, complained a group of consumers standing in the queue to pay their bills on Thursday.

They said that the ‘true-up’ charges had come as an additional burden to them at a time when they were struggling to eke out a living owing to the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I used to get a monthly bill in the range of ₹600 to ₹700. I have to pay a power bill of ₹1,800 this month. All essential commodities have become costlier by several times due to cascading effect of the hefty taxes on petrol and diesel. It is a hefty burden,” said K. Subramanyam, a retired school teacher.

A closer look at around 20 bills of the consumers waiting in the queue revealed that the monthly hike ranged between ₹500 to ₹2,000 based on a review of the power generation cost by the DISCOMs in the previous five years. The staff at the cash counter insisted that the consumers should pay their bills, failing which power connection to their houses would be disconnected.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) Prakasam District assistant secretary G.V. Konda Reddy said the Left parties would spearhead an agitation to exert pressure on the State government to bear the additional power generation cost incurred during the years under review.

A motorcycle rally would be organised in cities and towns on September 23. The demand for scrapping of the ‘true-up’ charges would be raised during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the farmers’ union on September 27, he said.

“We will continue the agitation till the true up charges are withdrawn as the same for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years could be imposed in the future, if there is no resistance to the move now,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 12:18:48 AM |

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