State

Hike in Power Tariff likely in Odisha, OERC to Take Final Call

Bhubaneswar, Jan 05: Following increased VAT on petrol and diesel that put additional burden on people in Odisha, the upcoming days this year will be tough for the Electricity consumers in the state with a possible steep hike in power tariffs.

The power tariff can go up as high as Rs 5 to Rs 6 per unit and the new tariff could come into force with effect from 2006-07. This could be the huge penalty for the consumers.

However, the state government has left the decision on Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) not to be blamed by the people of Odisha for such move.

In a statement, Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Principal Secretary of the department of Energy, said that OERC will take the final decision on the issue of revision of the power tariff.

"OERC is a quasi-judicial body and itís the final authority in the fixation of tariff. Every year, OERC fixes tariff for different categories of electricity consumers like industries, domestic etc. after hearing different interest groups and taking all factors into consideration, including all costs," said Mohapatra today.

"As far as I know the power distribution companies were dissatisfied with the tariff for power fixed by the OERC for the last four five years and had appealed against it in the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE). Recently, the ATE has ordered the OERC to quashing the existing tariff and fix it afresh after conducting fresh hearings on the matter," said Mohapatra.
 
It can be noted that the state government has been maintaining silence over the ATE order asking the OERC to compensate the losses faced by the power distribution companies. Seems like the consumers will have to pay to compensate the burden of about Rs 4,200 crore.

The ATE, in its verdict, has expressed its unhappiness with the failure of OERC to implement its earlier order and asked it to compensate discoms, managed by Reliance Energy, by revising power tariff in the state from as early as 2006-07 retrospectively. The verdict has put the OERC in a difficult situation. It is not yet clear whether the OERC will accept the verdict or would challenge it in the court.


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