Govt files review petition against power tariff hike

Bhubaneswar: Keeping in view the interest of consumers, state government on Monday filed review petition before Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) seeking roll back of proposed power tariff hike.

Earlier while adjudicating a PIL, Orissa High Court had put an interim stay on the proposed power tariff hike which was to be effective from April 1.

In the review petition, the state government has raised several questions:

Under what circumstances the authorities decided to hike whopping 150 times of the present tariff affecting the general consumers?

Why did the commission decide to hike the power tariffs to Rs 3.50 from Rs 1.40 per unit for consumers using between 50 to 100 units of power per month?

The government, in the petition, has asked the regulatory body to protect the interest of the consumers to provide electricity at an affordable price. Besides, the government asked the body to undertake measures to minimize loss burden which in turn would not shift to domestic consumers.

On the other hand, Orissa Electrical Consumers Association (OECA) has claimed that the state government had asked government-managed GRIDCO and Orissa Hydro Power Corporation to increase power tariff. In view of this, the review petition would have no effect in OERC decision. The state government should have intervened into the matter much earlier, the association said.

It may be recalled that OERC had decided to increase the power tariff on March 18 wef April 1. However, the HC stayed the proposed power tariff hike following a PIL questioning the rationale behind such drastic step.