High Court modifies order on power tariff

Cuttack: Odisha High Court on Wednesday modified its March 31 interim order, in which it had stayed collection of hiked power tariff from all electricity consumers as proposed by Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC).

Instead of vacating the interim stay in totality as pleaded by the state government, the HC partly modified its order vacating the stay on collection of hiked power bills from commercial consumers of all categories using electricity from extra high tension (EHT), high tension (HT) and low tension (LT) lines.

However, the interim stay on collection of hiked bills from domestic consumers using low tension (LT) lines would continue till disposal of the cases in the High Court.

Petitioner Dilip Kumar Mohapatra, in his capacity as secretary of Keonjhar Navanirman Parishad along with a Cuttack-based electricity consumer had filed a PIL challenging the proposed hike in power tariff of OERC.

Earlier, the state government had filed an affidavit urging the court to vacate its interim stay of March 31 in view of OERC revising its proposed tariff hike on June 18. The division bench of Justices B P Das and B K Mishra, however, refused to vacate the stay and instead modified it and posted the matter to be heard again on June 27.

The OERC had in March proposed about 40 per cent hike in power tariff for 2011-12 fiscal for all types of consumers which was scheduled to be effective from April 1, 2011.