Mescom proposal to hike tariff opposed

Udupi Power Consumers Forum convener Satyanarayana Udupa said that the question of hiking the power tariff does not arise at all as the power production in all hydro-electricity projects are increasing. “The cost of production should also reduce according to an increase in the power production. Hence, MESCOM need not increase the tariff at any cost,” he added.

Further he pointed out that the KERC’s directive of 2008 to implement multi-year tariff in ESCOMS was upheld by the Electricity Appellate Tribunal too. Hence, MESCOM cannot hike the tariff for two years.

Bharatiya Kisan Sangha MESCOM Power Consumers Federation (BKSMPCF), Puttur Zone convener Vijayakrishna suggested MESCOM authorities to implement cost cutting measures instead of hiking the tariff by 51 paise per unit. He charged that MESCOM do not undertake maintenance and development works in rural areas.

“Though transformers were sanctioned to many villages as per record, it has not been installed so far. Moreover, officials in rural areas do not pay heed to the complaints of villagers,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) expert Krishna Bhat demanded that the MESCOM should dismiss its plan of revising the tariff. “The KERC directive stipulate MESCOM to maintain managment information and energy audit system. Hence, MESCOM should introduce an energy auditing system immeditely and find out the loopholes to tackle the revenue deficit issue,” he said.

Rs 417 crore deficit

Presenting an overview of the company, MESCOM Finance Advisor Jayaram Alva said
that the estimated revenue deficit of the company for the year 2009-10 is Rs 417.15 crore.

While the total revenue required is Rs 1,339.60 crore for the year 2009-10, estimated revenue from charges is only Rs 922.45 crore, Mr Alva added. “The development process requires breathing of sufficient financial resources. The only financial resource for the company is the tariff charged to the consumers and the subsidy support of the government,” he said.

“The government has agreed to release subsidy support of Rs 166 crore. Rest of the deficit should be filled up through tariff increase,” he pointed out. Alva said that MESCOM has 16.24 lakh consumers. While the company has a workforce of 4,185 employees,. 40.51 per cent of the posts remain vacant, he added. KERC members V Hiremath and Srinivas Rao were present.

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