Power tariff hike: House adjourned twice

Bhubaneswar: After vociferous criticism against the State government’s move to increase electricity tariffs yesterday, the Odisha legislative assembly opened to noisy scenes today which led the speaker to adjourn the house till 3:00 PM.

Though the opposition members had moved an adjournment motion in protest of the hike in electricity tariff, Congress members rushed to the well of the house as soon as the proceedings began. Congress members were seen shouting slogans and displaying banners in the house protesting the state government’s move.

Later, a delegation of Congress, led by leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra went to Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to governor S.C. Jamir in this regard.

OERC increased tariffs by 20 paisa per unit for domestic consumers yesterday. After a gap of 15 years, the electricity tariff for the agriculture sector was increased by 40 paise.

Moreover, the consumers covered under Kutir Jyoti Yojana will also have to pay more as the monthly tariff has been increased from Rs 65 to Rs 80.

With this increase, electricity will now be dearer by 4.64 percent as compared to the 2014-15 financial year. However, the monthly minimum charges and meter rent has been kept unchanged. OERC officials said, this hike in power tariffs has been made as per the directive of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and keeping in mind the increase in coal prices.

The average tariff for domestic consumption of 50 units, 100 units, 200 units, 300 units, 400 units, 500 units and 600 units is Rs 2.50/ kwh, Rs 3.35/kwh, Rs 3.78/kwh, Rs 4.25/kwh, Rs 4.49/kwh and Rs 4.71/kwh and Rs 4.86/ kwh respectively, which is around 49 per cent, 31 per cent, 23 per cent, 13 per cent, 8 per cent, 4 per cent and 1 per cent less than the average cost of supply of Rs 4.88 approved by the commission.

A consumer is required to pay an average tariff of Rs 4.96 for the consumption of 700 units, which is 1.6 per cent higher than the average cost of supply, an OERC release said.