Desist from power tariff hike, BJP tells govt

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has urged the State government to refrain from going ahead with a power tariff hike as proposed by the power distribution companies (discoms) a few weeks back.

“The State government has been showing favour to the discoms by increasing power tariff whenever they have demanded in the past showing various reasons. Ultimately, it is the consumers who are suffering, but the State government pays no heed to them,” State BJP president Basanta Panda alleged.

The saffron party leader also criticised the government for failing to adhere to the guidelines relating to pricing of power. As per data available with Power Finance Corporation, the gap between the purchase and sale of power by discoms should not exceed 53 paise.

“Surprisingly, in Odisha which is a power-surplus State, this gap has reached Rs 1.05 paise. Is the government not following the stipulated guidelines set up by the Centre?” asked Panda.

While electricity consumers in Odisha are apprehensive of a hike in electricity tariff from April 1, the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has made it clear that new tariff will be notified in the third week of March.

Last month, the Commission had conducted a public hearing on tariff fixation in which electricity producers – Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), the four discoms, power trading company Gridco, Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) and State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) had made a case for increasing tariff.

However, the move was opposed by Electricity Consumers’ Federation.

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