Mrunal Manmay Dash

When two customers are charged differently for the same product by the seller, it is bound to raise eyebrows; just as in the case of electricity purchased from NTPC Talcher Super Thermal Power Station (TSTPS) phase 2 in Talcher.

While electricity tariff is a topic best addressed through the end users (consumers), the companies at the top of the supply chain make it more complex.

As per reports, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation bought electricity from TSTPS at Rs 2.53 per unit while in Odisha, the Grid Corporation (GRIDCO) buys the same electricity at Rs 2.83 per unit, making it 30 paise costlier for Odisha consumers.

While Tamil Nadu’s electricity regulatory authority has put a cap at Rs 2.53 on the purchase of electricity from TSTPS, the discrepancy in tariff has raised questions on the role of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Authority (OERC), with people in the know of things alleging foul play in fixing the tariff.

Surendra Panigrahi, President of Bharatiya Vikash Parishad said, “The excess rate is ultimately borne by the end users - the people of Odisha. The discrepancy should be probed by the CBI in the interest of people of Odisha. And the OERC should be dissolved as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will take to the streets to put pressure on the government to do the same.”

“I think there is corruption involved in the dealings of GRIDCO and TSTPS. And OERC is directly involved in this too, ultimately resulting in loss for the people of Odisha,” alleged Odisha State Consumers Association President, Panchanan Kanungo.

On the question of whether OERC knows the tariff discrepancy between two states, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of OERC said, “The regulatory authority consults all the stakeholders before hiking or setting the tariffs. And interstate transactions from Central government PSUs are regulated by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). OERC does not have anything to do with what Tamil Nadu buys from NTPC.”

(Reported By Laxminarayan Kanungo, OTV)