Public hearing on power tariff ends

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) on Thursday concluded public hearing on power tariff hike proposed by electricity producing, purchasing and distribution companies.

Official sources said Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) has proposed to increase per unit power tariff from 82 paise to Re 1.43 for the financial year 2016-17. Similarly, Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) has also proposed a hike in production cost of power per unit from the existing Rs 2.20 to Rs 2.82 per unit.

GRIDCO and OPTCL have also urged the OERC to increase their cost per unit from the existing Rs 2.84 to Rs 3.62 and 25 paise to 35 paise respectively, sources added. Besides, the distribution companies (Discoms) also proposed a tariff hike of Re 1 per unit citing aggregated technical and commercial (AT&C) loss.

If proposals of the companies are accepted, it would result in electricity tariff hike of Rs 3.20 per unit for the domestic consumers who have already faced a 20 paise hike per unit this year.

“The companies have proposed power tariff hike before us. The Corporation taking all the pleas into consideration including the State government and consumers, will take a decision by March end,” Priyabrata Pattnaik, OERC Director (Regulatory Affairs), said.

Meanwhile the Orissa Rajya Bidyut Upavokta Mahasangh has opposed the power tariff hike proposal.

“Power tariff is increasing every year and the Discoms have failed to reduce theft and AT&C loss for which consumers are paying the price. When average national AT&C loss is 17 per cent, it is about 38 per cent in Odisha. The power consumers of the State will be unable to pay the tariff hike,” Mahasangha president Ramesh Satapathy said.

Domestic consumers pay electricity tariff at a rate of Rs 2.50 per unit for consuming power below 50 units, Rs 4.20 between 51 and 200 units and Rs 5.20 between 201 and 400 units.