Notwithstanding a high of around 85 per cent of households in Odisha experiencing at least one power-cut a day, which is the second highest in the country after Bihar, the consumers, nevertheless, pay more than their counterparts elsewhere.
Though Odisha is included among champions of power reforms, say power privatisation, in the country, the poor in the State shell out more as compared to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Even, poor consumers in Delhi and Gujarat pay far lesser amounts than their Odisha counterparts.
Plug Out Points
As per the data available with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), when on consumption up to 100 units per month, a consumer in Odisha pays Rs 374, a counterpart in Andhra Pradesh pays only Rs 208 per month. The amount a consumer in Chhattisgarh pays is Rs 367.20. Data shows in the neighbourhood, only West Bengal and Jharkhand have a very higher power tariff than Odisha.
Even in the national capital territory Delhi, a consumer has to pay only Rs 336 per month for consuming electricity up to 100 units. In Gujarat, a consumer in rural areas pay Rs 325.19 per month for consuming up to 100 units, and an urban consumer pays Rs 393.88.
Significantly, Goa, among the major states, has the cheapest power tariff structure in India. For consuming up to 100 units in a month, h/she has to pay a mere Rs 180.
As per data with OERC (Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission), average electricity consumption per household in rural Odisha stood at around 85-90 units in rural areas and around 200-220 units in urban areas.
The rate chart in Chhattisgarh for a consumer consuming up to 400 units per has been Rs 494.10 and, in Andhra Pradesh, the rate is Rs 491.63. The power rate in Odisha for consuming up to 400 units per month is Rs 496.60.
In Delhi, it's only Rs 406.88. In Gujarat, rural consumers for consuming up to 400 units will pay only Rs 432.69, whereas an urban consumer will pay Rs 504.46.
Poor Power Play
Even after shelling more for electricity, the quality of power supply has been among the poorest lot in the country. A Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) study outlines the fuse points in power supply in Odisha.
- When it comes to households experiencing at least one power-cut daily, Odisha is only second to Bihar (among big states) in the country. A whopping 85 per cent of households complain about multiple daily power cuts across the State.
- A high of 40 per cent of households in the State has been faced with at least one power quality (voltage problem) issue.
- In comparison, while in Andhra Pradesh, around 55 per cent of households reported at least one power cut daily, the number in Chhattisgarh is high at around 84 per cent.
- The startling fact is less than 5 per cent of households in Delhi and around 5-15 per cent of households in Gujarat complain about at least one power cut daily.
- Kerala charges a higher (Rs 37 - 386/- per month) rate than Odisha, but multiple power cuts are reported by a mere around 10 per cent of households. Only 20-30 per cent of households complain about supply quality.
The above comparative analysis of power tariff and quality of supply shows that Odisha finishes poorer than states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Gujarat. Except in Delhi, the power distribution in all the above-mentioned states is managed by public utilities.