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Electricity Tariff Hike On The Cards Again

12 August 2017

Saumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: In a move that may alarm every household with an electricity connection, there are chances of a steep hike in electricity tariff in the next few days.

Voicing concern over the government’s attempt to force a price hike in electricity tariff, Ramesh Chandra Satapathy, President, Consumer Mahasangh, said, “Already for the financial year 2016-2017, the tariff has been announced by the OERC in March of this year at Rs. 4.77 paisa, a slight hike of 10 paisa per unit from the previous year. Then, what is the need for trying to hike up the price up to Rs. 2 per unit after just four months of the annual hike?”

This is in sharp contrast to the substandard maintenance and functioning of electric wire and substations, which are the same year after year, Mr. Satapathy lamented.

Mr. Satapathy did elaborate how out of 90 lakhs families of the state, only 58 lakh families have up until now been able to receive electricity connections in their households. In addition, there has been no attempt to renovate and improve the conditions of the line and substations being used over the last 50 years.

Besides, he says, the electricity department is yet to recover around 6354 crore and 55 lakh rupees as of now from various electricity offenders, who are yet to pay their bills.

And the Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses continue to pile up.

According to Mr. Satapathy, GRIDCO, OHPC, OPGC and OPCL, the four electricity production and distribution companies owned by the state government, have filed a ‘Review Petition’ in this regard to OERC.

In the ‘Review Petition’, there’s no mention of the reason for proposing such a steep price hike, which clearly is an instance of the state government trying to recover from the consumers, the hundreds of crores of money it has lost over the years due to the incompetency of these companies, a move which Ramesh Chandra Satapathy, President, Consumer Mahasangh severely opposes.

In this regard, the Prafulla Mallick, Minister, Energy, who is in charge of GRIDCO, OHPC, OPGC and OPCL said, “OERC has the power to decide these review cases and his department has nothing to do with it.”

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