**Bhubaneswar: ** The Electricity Consumers Mahasangh of Odisha has opposed the proposed tariff hike by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) and demanded distribution system under the State agency.
Convening a press meet here today, Odisha State Electricity Consumers Mahasangh president and former Finance Minister of Odisha Panchanan Kanungo said, “A proposal has come to the OERC for hike in per unit tariff at 76 paise. Every time they are showing loss and increasing it.”
“We have repeatedly demanded that the accounting audit should be done by the CAG. It will expose the real thief whether any officer or organization or franchise or company,” he stressed.
He claimed, “License period of most of the franchises have elapsed. They have no license. But they are continuing” and also demanded, “Let the distribution system be under the State Government’s purview. And the municipalities and panchayats should be given the franchise.”
Odisha State Electricity Consumers Mahasangh convenor Rabi Behera said, “Our first demand is to stop power cut and power trip. Tariff shouldn’t be increased in 2019-20. Second demand is that the farmers should be provided free supply. Privatization of CESU should be stopped. All franchises should be ousted and the municipalities, SHGs and panchayats should be handed over billing and metering.”
Odisha State Electricity Consumers Mahasangh Adviser Rabi Das said, “Being a developed State, privatization of electricity was done over two decades ago. It was the plea then that it is being done for huge loss. This will check loss and people will be benefited from good power service and also voltage will improve. Did it happen?”
BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said the OERC has the responsibility to implement the proposal after holding discussions with the consumers. There is no interference of political parties in this matter.
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