Sheila to chair first power meeting

Smriti Kak Ramachandran

To discuss the tariff hike sought by discoms

“Revenue gaps due to huge spending on power purchase”

Cost of power has declined over the years, says DERC

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who now also holds the power portfolio is all set to chair the first meeting of the Department on taking over the charge on Wednesday. The meeting would discuss the issues pertaining to the power sector including the hike in tariffs sought by the power distribution companies.

According to sources in the Delhi Government’s Power Department, the Chief Minister is likely to deliberate over the submissions put forth by the power distribution companies while seeking a raise in the electricity charges.

The discoms have sought an increase in power tariffs in the annual revenue requirements submitted to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.

While the companies have cited revenue gaps caused by the huge spending on power purchase as a reason for the hike, the Department for its part is ready to counter the claims. “In the annual revenue requirements that the companies have submitted to the DERC, they have claimed the purchase of power has become expensive. Though it is the DERC’s job to review the ARR petitions and pronounce the decision after exhaustive public hearings, the Department will also put forth its views on the matter,” sources said.

Describing the discoms’ claims as “incorrect”, the sources said: “The cost of power has declined over the years. And as per our present and projected figures, it is unlikely to go beyond what we are paying currently.”

The price of power, the Department claims, has dipped from 254 paise per unit in 2006-07 to 247 paise per unit in 2007-08 and is expected to fall further to 225 paise per unit in the next financial year.

Price of power

“They have managed to bring down their aggregate technical and commercial losses, so they have made savings there; the companies have been banking power extensively so the chances of having to purchase expensive power are less. Besides, once the Dadri power plant is commissioned in 2009, there will be more power at less cost.”

The Department claims, the discoms will also save money on purchase of equipment and machinery what with the meltdown in the metals market.

“Metal equipment will be less expensive than the previous year. The only area where the spending of the companies is likely to go up is the administrative expenses,” said sources.

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