CESC hikes power tariffs by 13%
West Bengal State Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBSERC) allowed the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group flagship, CESC Ltd, to enhance electricity tariff in Kolkata by 69 paise unit (over 13 per cent) to Rs 5.88 a unit for 2011-12. The award came against a petition by the company seeking tariff escalation by Re 1 a unit from the existing Rs 5.19 a unit. Electricity bill in CESC areas is going to rise sharply following the revised tariff in Kolkata and parts of neighbouring Howrah and Hooghly. For its 25 lakh consumers, the average unit cost is likely go up by over 13% from Rs 5.19 to Rs 5.88 a unit.
Even the 1.5 lakh lifeline consumers, who use less than 30 units a month, will have to shell out Rs 2.99 per unit against the current rate of Rs 2.86. For average middle class households that consume 300 to 500 units a month, the rate increases by more than 10% with the hike ranging from 52 paisa to 62 paisa.
The impact on the bill will, however, be a lot steeper as consumers have to pay arrears for the electricity consumed in the past 11 months. The fuel surcharge though remains unchanged at 46 paisa a unit.
Consumers of state power utility in Salt Lake and rest of the state will continue to pay according to the existing rate.
Though the hike translates to additional revenue of Rs 522 crore for the power utility in 2011-12, it is not happy with the order, having applied for a tariff of Rs 6.30 a unit. Meanwhile, state utility West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (WBSEDCL) continues with the current rate with the Mamata Banerjee government not allowing it to apply for a tariff hike.
“The revised tariff will be applicable from the next billing cycle and will be charged. The order gave retrospective effect for the hike from April 2011. Hence, consumers will have pay arrears for the current fiscal,” a CESC official said on Tuesday evening after the state electricity regulatory commission announcement. The order gave retrospective effect for the hike from April 2011.
Though the last tariff revision happened way back in early 2010 when SERC announced an average tariff of Rs 4.73 per unit, the agency allowed CESC to factor in fuel surcharge of 46 paisa per in May 2011 following a sharp increase in coal and oil prices. “This time, too, most of the additional revenue garnered from the tariff hike will go into meeting fuel costs,” a CESC official said.
Source- Times of India