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Ramakanta Biswas

Electricity tariff in Odisha may witness another round of increase with the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) is all set to begin hearing on a fresh proposal made by the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd (OHPC) seeking a hike in the energy charges.  

The OERC reportedly admitted the proposal filed by OHPC on July 28 requesting to increase its average power generation tariff to 95.36 paise per unit from the existing 89.28 paise per unit. The hearing is scheduled to begin on October 26.

Apart from accepting the proposal, the OERC has also rejected the review petitions filed against the earlier 30 paise per unit power tariff hike effected in the State from April this year. The commission said it did not find any substantial material or ground to review the orders.

The Odisha Electricity Consumers' Association alleged that the OERC did not consider any issue raised by it against the electricity tariff hike. The association said it will take the next course of action after a discussion. 

"We had raised certain issues which were not taken into consideration during the hearing of the review petitions. The OERC rejected the petition saying it did find no substantial material or ground to review the said orders," said Ramesh Satpathy, president of Odisha Electricity Consumers' Association.

Meanwhile, there is a fresh concern among the consumers that if the OERC again gave the ruling in favour of OHPC during its hearing starting from October 26, the power tariff will see a fresh rise. 

BJP spokesperson Dillip Mohanty said, "The State government has committed a major mistake by hiking the electricity tariff and people will give a befitting reply to it. The BJP will broadly highlight the issue during the upcoming Panchayat election."

"It is crystal clear that electricity tariff is hiked at the direction of the government. During the Panchayat election, the Congress party will make the issue a major agenda at the grass-root level and present it before the public," said Congress spokesperson Nishikant Mishra. 

Speaking on the issue, BJD MLA Parsuram Dhada said, "The State government is concerned about the issue. The government always thinks about the welfare of the people and will not take any decision which will affect them."

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