Power tariff all set to shoot up

Bhubaneswar: In an apparent move to hike the power tariff, the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has scheduled a hearing from Wednesday.

Working over the proposals submitted by eight premier power distributing companies in the state, the commission will begin its hearing.

OERC sources said that Gridco, which is currently incurring around Rs 100 crore loss per month, is hit hard with a total estimated cost of Rs 14,00 crore. The commission, while buys power at Rs 2.27 per unit, sells the same to the distributing companies at Rs 1.92 per unit.

Failure in reducing the transmission and distribution costs of the distributing companies, rising demand of power and no tariff hike for last nine years are believed to be the main causes behind the apparent hike in tariff.

Meanwhile, state energy minister has said that the commission will take a final call after taking all these issues into accounts.

“Gridco bears the loss due to the gap between purchasing and selling costs of power. We have requested OERC to take steps that would cause least harm to the common man” said energy mister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.

However, a former chairman of the commission said that only a rise in the tariff will cater little help to the companies and if the government would have prepared a planned programme, then this kind of situation would not have arisen.

“No deficiency, no efficient investment, no supervision and no monitoring are there. Though OERC sets target for the companies, none have fulfilled the target in last five years. Even no action is being taken on this”, said Dhirendranath Ray, former chairman of OERC.

Improvement in the work capacity of Gridco and in the distribution system was needed and it would have been done much earlier to avoid such kind of situation, he added.

After the hearing will be over, a notice may be issued regarding tariff hike and the new tariff is expected to fall in place from April 1.