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Cesc's proposal to hike power tariff flayed

Consumers oppose proposal to hike tariff by Rs 1.02 per unit

Cesc's proposal to hike power tariff flayed

 A section of the public, including industrialists, farmer leaders and concerned citizens on Saturday, vehemently opposed the proposal to increase the power tariff by 102 paise (Re 1.02) per unit, taking it to Rs 5.12 against the existing Rs 4.10, tabled by Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (Cesc) Limited.

Managing Director of Cesc Kiran Kumar put forth the proposal before Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) to shore up revenue, due to the anticipated revenue deficit of Rs 613.5 crore for the financial year 2016-17.

At the public hearing over the proposed tariff revision, convened by KERC, Prabhu, an energy expert associated with several industry associations said, “Had the Cesc authorities planned in advance, they could have arrested the loss up to Rs 350 crore incurred due to various factors. It includes purchase of power, sales of energy generated from solar power for lesser than the purchase (from generators) rate, non-metered installations up to 39 per cent and an estimated Rs 12 crore power cess going unbilled.”

Sureshkumar Jain from Mysore Industries Association (MIA) said, “At a time when the demand for power has reduced even in the industry sector, the proposed hike is too high. It would be better to revise the rate by another 15 paise to 20 paise.”

Manjunath from Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia) also blamed poor planning on the part of electricity supply companies (escoms) in general, resulting in loss.
Manjunath cited the example of Bengaluru, where power cuts were witnessed in recent months. Now, the situation is such that there is an improvement in the supply mechanism due to proper planning after receiving brickbats from the consumers.

Anil Sahu from Karnataka Planters Association demanded for keeping the tariff unchanged. Mohammed Arif Khan, an advocate representing Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), demanded for outright rejection of the proposal.

Citing the example of BWSSB, Khan said,“The water regulatory body caters to areas in and around Bengaluru, including 35 per cent consumers belonging to below poverty line (BPL) families. Such economically weaker families are not charged for the water consumed, even though the water board spends 64 per cent of the revenue generated on electricity bills.”

Rajendra, State unit secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Sangha, Savitha Ranganath, a citizen, and Captain (Retd) Hussain also flayed the proposal to revise power tariff. KERC Chairman M K Shankarlinge Gowda presided over the meeting. Members H D Arun Kumar and D B Manivel Raju were present.

Rate card

 Present tariff: Rs 4.10 per unit.
 Proposed hike:  Rs 1.02 per unit
 New tariff, if okayed, would be Rs 5.12 per unit

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