Protest against proposed power tariff hike in Orissa

Cuttack: Opposition parties on Monday protested against the proposed power tariff hike and demonstrated at the Central Electricity Utility (CESU) office here threatening to up their ante if the decision to hike power tariff was not rolled back immediately.

The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) had on Friday approved the increase in power tariff that would be effective from April one and is likely to affect both domestic and industrial consumers.

Opposition parties Congress, BJP and SUCI(C) took out separate rallies and demonstrated in front of the CESU office at Ranihat here criticising the Naveen Patnaik government for hiking the power tariff when the people were hard hit by the rise in prices of essential commodities.

The district Congress unit took out a rally and demonstrated in front of the CESU office threatening that the party activists would take the law in their hands if the government did not role back the proposed tariff hike decision.

"We would paralyse the power distribution office here if our demands are not met," senior Congress leader Suresh Mohapatra said.

Holding lanterns in hands, BJP leaders also staged a demonstration here and alleged that the decision to hike power tariff was taken to appease private companies.

"I would like to suggest this government to provide lanterns and kerosene to people free of cost," BJP city president A K Basu said.

"The decision to increase the power tariff twice in two years is taken at the behest of private power distribution companies who are out to loot the citizens," said SUCI (C) Cuttack district secretary Biswabasu Das while addressing a protest meeting here.

All the opposition political parties also submitted memoranda to the executive engineer here.