Rising coal prices give impetus to power tariff hike

Bhubaneswar: Given the steady price rise of coal, the power tariff has gone high in the state as it is more dependent on thermal power.

The Orissa State Electricity Board (OSEB) employees union on Sunday said that the state’s increasing dependence on thermal power has resulted in power tariff hike which could have been avoided. In a press conference here, the union alleged that though Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) was formed in 1996, the state is far behind in power generation sector. While 57 per cent of electric energy then was generated from hydro power, it has subsequently decreased to a mere 17 per cent, it said.

“The tariff hike would have been checked if we would have used the hydro potentiality of the state, and it has already been 12 years after the OHPC was formed but nothing has been done in terms of increasing hydro power generation” said Secretary of the OSEB Shramik Mahasangh Ramesh Satpathy.

Meanwhile, questioning the role of Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC)         in the tariff hike, former Union Minister Braja Kishore Tripathy said that the OERC which had talked of multi-year tariff should have resisted the increasing power tariff year on year.

“The decision must be reviewed and a detailed discussion should be held to decide over the issue. Let there be a debate on the role of the OERC as it is beyond doubt that power sector reforms in Orissa has failed”, said former Union Minister Braja Kishore Tripathy.

Notably, State Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak had earlier said that it will file a review petition against the tariff hike.