Power producers demand tariff hike at OERC hearing

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Bhubaneswar: Two electricity generators in Odisha demanded a in hike power tariff at the hearing in Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) on Thursday.

On the first day of the hearing on the amount of hike in tariff at the OERC here, Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) demanded a 73% increase in power charges.

“We have put forth a proposal for Rs 1.43 per unit power tariff as compared to last year’s 82.57 paise,” OHPC director (Operation) Ashwini Mishra told media persons after the hearing.

Justifying the increase in tariff demand, Mishra stated, “We have to repay the loan we had taken from the state government for the Indravati project. The repayment would be done for Rs 766 crore convertible bond and Rs 522 crore.”

Another power producer Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) asked for an increase to Rs 2.82 per unit from the Rs 2.10 at present.

OERC secretary Guru Prasad Mishra said, “The hearing, which began from today, will continue till February 11. Every day, different power generators in the State will present their views during the hearing. The new tariff will be fixed after taking a comprehensive view.”

Meanwhile, the Electricity consumers’ association president Ramesh Satapathy objected to the power hike during the OERC hearing.

Satapathy said, “There is no audit on why and how much loan was taken. Therefore, we are objecting to the move to pass on the loan burden to the consumers. If the tariff hike trend continues,consumers may have to pay as much as Rs 5-6 per unit.”

Former finance minister and chairman of another electricity consumers’ association, that is opposing against power tariff hike outside the OERC hearing, said, “If the State govt would have recovered Rs 30,000 crore, which was looted by the discoms and brought down the Transmission and distribution (T&D) loss at par with the national average of 15-17%, the power tariff on this date would have been one third of the present rate.”

The GRIDCO will present its view on power tariff hike during the OERC hearing tomorrow.

Source said the discoms are also likely to demand an increase in power rates.

At present, power consumers are paying Rs 2.50 for the first 50 units, Rs 4.20 for 51-200 units and Rs 5.20 for 201-400 units.

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