HC stays proposed power tariff hike in Odisha

Cuttack: Odisha High Court on Thursday granted a major relief to electricity consumers in the state when it stayed the proposed power tariff hike as planned by Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) from Friday.

Admitting a PIL filed in this connection, a division bench consisting of Justices B P Das and B K Mishra in an interim measure ordered that the power tariff as fixed by OERC for 2011-12 shall not be collected from the consumers.

The HC also issued notices returnable within two weeks to the state government, OERC, all the power distribution companies and power generation corporations of the state besides CBI which was also made a party in the PIL.

Alleging that power generation, transmission and its distribution are done in an arbitrary manner by the private companies in the state without any transparency in their fund management, the PIL had demanded CBI enquiry into the charges.

Keonjhar Navnirman Parishad, a registered trust represented by its secretary Dilip Kumar Mohapatra, its joint secretary Girija Sankar Panda and Arun Kumar Sahu, an electricity consumer of Cuttack city here had filed the PIL yesterday questioning the rationale behind the recent decision of OERC to hike the power tariff.

The petition had maintained that despite the Electricity Act of 2003, the companies engaged in electricity generation, transmission, distribution and trading have completely failed in protecting the interest of the consumers to provide electricity at an affordable price.