OERC hears tariff hike pleas

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Bhubaneswar: After a gap of two years, power tariff in the state may go up from next financial year (2020-21) as power generation and distribution companies have urged the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) to effect a hike in power tariff.

The OERC headed by UN Behera Monday started hearing power generation and distribution companies on their demands along with their justifications for tariff hike.

The commission Monday heard the request of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) which proposed a seven paisa hike in tariff. The corporation has set a target to generate 56,02 million units of power during next year for which about Rs 563 crore will be spent.

“We have proposed a marginal price hike in the power tariff because we are going to have capital expenditure in three out of six power generation units. The investment will be done for Burla, Chipilima and Balimela hydro power generation units,” said OHPC director (finance) Prabhakar Mohanty.

However, Upobhokta Mahasangha president Ramesh Chandra Satpathy objected to it, saying, OHPC has gained Rs 31 crore with the existing power tariff and hence there is no need for a tariff hike? We demanded a cut in tariff by eight paise so that people will get power supply at low cost because OHPC was formed to supply power to people on a no-loss-no-profit basis.

Instead of proposing a tariff hike, the OHPC should invest its fixed deposit of Rs 660 crore for development of infrastructure at its three units, the Mahasangha said.

The OERC began its hearing on the petitions of the discoms for tariff increase. The process will continue till February 14. It will hear petitions of the Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) Tuesday, GRIDCO February 5, then Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) and four discoms—CESU, WESCO, NESCO and SOUTHCO. The OERC will take a decision on the tariff in the third week of March.

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