Indore: Describing the proposed hike in power tariff as unjust, consumers here raised red flag to the proposal of power distribution company (Discom) during a public hearing conducted by Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) at DAVV auditorium on Tuesday.
“For past many years Discom has been tampering with records to show losses and subsequently hike tariff to meet these so-called losses. This year, the company manipulated the balance-sheet to hid income of Rs 3,500 crore,” social activist Kishor Kodwani alleged presenting before the MPERC different records of income and expenditure of Discom to substantiate his claim.
He said that if an inquiry is conducted into the matter, the truth would come out. Claiming that the company is not running in losses so the power tariff should not be hiked, Kodwani said if the company was facing losses then how come it is giving away dividends.
CAG should audit Discom’s records: AIMP
Association of Industries Madhya Pradesh secretary Yogesh Mehta said that CAG should be asked to inquire into the records of Discom. Presenting objection on the proposed tariff hike on behalf of AIMP, Mehta said that the power tariff for industries should not be hiked any further. “We are trying to compete with industries of China and if tariff is hiked, it will not only hit the companies here but the growth of state will also affect,” he said. He claimed that transition losses in industrial area is not more than four per cent but Discom puts the burden on industries to recover transition losses from other sectors.
Let there be open competition: Kothari
Objecting to the proposed tariff hike, Pithampur Industries Association president Gautam Kothari said that existing minimum tariff system should be replaced with voltage based tariff system. He claimed that the transition losses in 1037 hectare of SEZ and 2000 hectare of non-SEZ in Pithampur is not more than two per cent but the companies records put losses to 22.58 per cent. “And then, we are told that because of MPERC directives we are charged for merely 15 per cent losses,” he said adding that the industries should be given open access. “When more power distribution companies will come to the state, there will be a fair and open competition.”
Objection on surplus power
Retired official of MPEB, RC Somani said that the production cost of surplus power is Rs 4.22 per unit and the proposal is to sell it for Rs 2.43 per unit to reduce losses incurred due to surplus. He suggested purchase of power from such plants which are selling power at higher rates. He also suggested formation of norms for temporary connections as per National Tariff Policy. On behalf of electricity consumer society, Prabhakar Nene said that minimum charge system should be scrapped because common man suffers because of it. Representing different organisations, RS Goyal social service organization should be given rebate on power tariff.
MPERC having hand in glove with Discom
A consumer from Mhow, Sanjay Agrawal alleged that the MPERC is having hand in glove with Discom. “Public hearing for proposed tariff hikes is just formality. MPERC directives are blatantly overlooked by the Discom and MPERC knows about this but never any action is taken,” he alleged. He claimed that the Discom is imposing urban power tariff on rural areas but MPERC is silent over this issue. He said that Power Lokpal had given ruling in many such cases and tired to put some cases during the hearing but MPERC chairman Dev Raj Birdi stopped him from doing so saying that the hearing is only for proposed tariff hike.
Public representatives, IMC do not turn up
More than 50 organisations and consumers had given prior applications to the MPERC for filing their objections but merely 20 to 25 persons turned up during the hearing.
No elected public representative turned up for filing their objection over the proposed tariff hike. No representative from Indore Municipal Corporation also showed up to oppose the proposed hike for power supplied to water supply and street light. Kodwani objected to hike in power tariff of civic bodies saying that residents have to bear its expenditure. APP party activists submitted a memorandum to requesting to stop purchase of power from plants selling electricity on higher rates.