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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: After a gap of two years, power tariffs in Odisha are likely to be hiked. Such indications were received during Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission's (OERC) hearing on the pleas of power companies on power tariff revision.

On the first day of the hearing today, Odisha Hydropower Corporation (OHPC) presented its application for determination of Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) and tariffs of its generating stations for the financial year 2020-21.

OHPC has estimated its ARR at Rs 536.38 crore during 2020-21 from all its generating stations under its control except Machkund. It has also proposed for an average generation tariff of 95.80 paisa per unit. OHPC is currently supplying power to GRIDCO at 88 paisa per unit.

“We have requested for a marginal power tariff hike as we are going for capital expenditure in three units- Burla, Chiplima and Balimela which are old units. We have demanded for a power tariff hike to 95.80 paisa per unit from existing 88 paisa.

Apart from OHPC, other power generation and supply utilities and discoms are also likely to bat for a hike in power tariffs. The power tariff was hiked by 10 paisa per unit for the last time in 2017.

Meanwhile, consumers’ association has opposed OHPC’s move to seek a hike in power tariffs.

“Despite being a government undertaking, OPHC’s performance has not been satisfactory. They are only submitting applications for hike in power tariffs. It is too early to say what will be the hike, but it is certain that the electricity tariffs in the State will increase as there was no hike in the last two years,” said Ramprasad Mohapatra, former member, power generation board.

This time the hearings are being conducted at three places other than the OERC office. Several power generation companies and other discoms will place their ARR and a final decision on power tariff revision will be taken after the State Advisory Committee meeting which will be held in March third week.

Ramesh Satpathy, president of consumer association said, “OHPC has paid Rs 31 crore to State government as dividend couple of days back. If the company can make profit from the existing tariff of Rs 88 per unit, why there is need to hike power tariffs. We have placed a demand to slash tariff by 8 paisa. OHPC was not formed to make profit rather it was set up to provide low cost power at no-profit-no-loss basis.”

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