Mescom's proposal to hike tariff opposed

Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena speaks at the public hearing on revision of tariff in Mangaluru on Thursday.

Electricity consumers, cutting across categories, opposed Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd’s (Mescom) proposal seeking hike in tariff without improving the quality of its services, at a public hearing on tariff revision conducted by Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission, on Thursday.

KERC Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena chaired the public hearing.

Parameshwarappa of Bharatiya Kisan Sangha said there was no need for hiking the tariff as the Mescom was making profit due to the prompt payment by the consumers.

“The seven-hour three-phase power supply is still a dream for the farmers. The 24X7 customer care grievances centre with toll free number of 1912 has not benefitted the customers much.”

‘Replace electricity lines’

He sought to know how many Janasamparka programmes in Chikkamagaluru had benefited the customers. “The 50 year to 60 year old electricity lines needs to be replaced.”

Satyanarayana Udupa, a consumer, said that in the name of irrigation pumpsets (IP sets), subsidy amount from the government was looted by Escoms. The auto closure system do not function properly in Udupi. Low Tension (LT) lines are not properly maintained. The power purchase cost of the Mescom is higher when compared to Bescom.

The KERC’s guidelines of installing timer switches are not followed by the Mescom. The Mescom has also failed to replace the service wires of electricity connections. In the name of energy conservation, LED bulbs were distributed to the consumers.

Unfortunately, about 60% of the LED bulbs distributed have become defunct before the expiry date.

“There is a need to initiate action against the company that distributed LED bulbs under government scheme,” Udupa said.

New tariff category

Representatives from Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said that ease  of doing business should be implemented effectively. “New tariff category for new industries should be announced.”

Gaurav Hegde of Kanara Small Industries Association said multi-level industrial shed connection should be given for the industries.

Rajendra representing Ice Plant and Cold Storage Owners Association said, “Though the government has considered ice plants as seasonal industry, we are not able to reap the benefit following a condition put forth by the Mescom to reduce demand and consumption by 50%.”

He also appealed to the KERC to give a special tariff rate to the plants that are functioning within 5-km radius of the seashore like in Kerala.

Ramakrishna Sharma, another consumer, said farmers were asked to pay Rs 10,000 for new IP set connections which was unfair. The Mescom should encourage the use of modern methods of irrigation like sprinklers and drip irrigation to save energy, Sharma added.

Venkatagiri from Shivamogga said the KERC should bring in an amendment to HT2c1 tariff category to check the misuse of rebate given for charitable hospitals and institutions. IT companies under the IT/BT policy are availing tariff incentives, which makes one question over social justice.

Rammohan from Mangaluru International Airport appealed to the KERC to change the tariff of airport from commercial to industrial tariff.

KERC Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena urged the Mescom to improve the quality of its service. There is a lot of scope for improving the services, he added.

KERC members H D Arun Kumar and H M Manjunath were present.

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Mescom's proposal to hike tariff opposed

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