New power tariff likely by July end

Amidst people demanding quality power supply and prompt redressal of grievances, the public hearings of Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) for deciding retail supply tariffs for the financial year of 2010-11, concluded here today . The new tariff order which is already delayed by over six months, will be announced by July end.

Giving a representation to the APERC during the fourth and final public hearing held today, CPI state secretary K Narayana said that the ERC decision to hike power tariff is not acceptable as it would cause additional burdens on industries which are slowly recovering from the aftereffects of the recession. He held the ERC responsible for unnecessary delay in announcing the new tariff which was scheduled for announcement in November-December last year. He alleged that some Congress leaders are operating the power mafia in the State and causing troubles to the common man.

“ The Hinduja Power Plant in spite of getting land, subsidised coal and other facilities from the state government, is trying to sell the power outside the state without supplying adequate power to the denizens,” he pointed out.

He wanted the ERC to take action against such companies before revising the tariff.

The Joint Action Committee of Telangana Electricity Employees said that the rural areas are being made scapegoats for the increasing usage of power in urban areas. The JAC representative K Raghu said that the power distribution companies are ignoring rural areas in power supply and wanted separate tariffs for districts like Adilabad, Warangal and Karimnagar, which were charged at par with the other districts without being given quality hours of supply.

Electricity expert M Venugopal Rao wanted the APERC to give equal importance to petitions filed by individuals along with political parties, trade unions, industry representatives and commercial establishments. Another expert A Punna Rao urged the ERC to recommend measures to stop power thefts.

The APERC held the final public hearing today for areas under AP Central Power Distribution Company Limited (APCPDCL) on its proposals to increase the power tariff for commercial establishments by Rs 1 per unit and for industries by Rs 1 during peak time and Rs 0.5 paise per unit during rest of the day. There will be no changes in power tariff pertaining to domestic sector. Earlier, three public hearings were held for areas under Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (SPDCL), Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) and Northen Power Distribution Company Limited (NPDCL).

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