Gaya power consumer body opposes proposed tariff hike
Vidyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti, which represents the interests of Gaya power consumers, has strongly opposed the proposed power tariff hike. The power regulatory commission of the state is considering a steep hike in tariff for different categories of power users, including the beneficiaries of Kutir Jyoti Yojana.
The commission members, headed by power regulatory commission chairman SK Negi, on Thursday discussed the tariff issue with the stakeholders at Gaya collectorate.
Samiti secretary Brajnandan Pathak raised the consumers’ objections to the proposed hike on 18 points and submitted a three-page memorandum to Negi. The objections include the proposal to raise the fixed charges of the unmetered connections under the Kutir Jyoti scheme under which the beneficiaries get power for minimum domestic use for a fixed charge of Rs 60 per month. The regulatory body is considering the proposal to raise it to Rs 350 per month. The consumer body wants the tariff to remain unchanged for this category of poor power users.
The Samiti has also objected to the proposal to raise fixed charges for unmetered domestic consumers having a power load of less than 2kW. This category of consumers, as on date, pays a fixed charge of Rs170 per month. The proposal is to increase it to Rs500 per month.
Not only that, there is no minimum charge for domestic metered consumers having a power load of 2kW. The proposal is to levy a minimum charge of Rs80 per kW from this category of consumers. The consumer body has also objected to the proposal to increase tariff for 1-100 units from Rs3 to 6, 101-200 units from Rs3.65 to 7.5, 201-300 units from Rs4.35 to 7.9 and above 300 units from Rs5.45 to 8.1. The proposed hike is too steep and unaffordable for the average consumer, said the petition.
Questioning the rationale behind the proposed tariff hike, the petition says the state gets most of the power from thermal plants and the price of coal has consistently shown a declining tendency all over the world. The global coal price was at its lowest since 2003 and as such there was little justification for the tariff hike.
Negi promised the consumer body to look into the merits of the demands.