Proposal invites public wrath

Proposal invites public wrath
Highlights

The TSERC organised a public hearing to seek suggestions from various sections on the proposals of power utilities for the year 2016-17 financial year. ERC chairman Ismail Ali Khan, members M Srinivasulu and L Manohar Reddy heard the versions from the people.

Hyderabad: Civil society groups, political parties and voluntary organisations urged the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) not to consider the power tariff hike proposed by the power utilities.
The TSERC organised a public hearing to seek suggestions from various sections on the proposals of power utilities for the year 2016-17 financial year. ERC chairman Ismail Ali Khan, members M Srinivasulu and L Manohar Reddy heard the versions from the people.
The civil society groups suggested the ERC to direct the power utilities to withdraw their proposed power tariff hike, decrease the distribution, supply and other losses. They also wanted the ERC to direct the utilities to purchase power at a lower price from the open market and increase their revenues. They opposed the proposal of the Discoms to increase power tariff to the category of above 100 units, adding that this would mean 20 per cent burden on the consumers. They found fault with the utilities giving priority on temporary basis in the name of emergency. They alleged that the burden was being imposed on the consumers in the long-term agreements. They wanted the utilities to provide better services by bringing up new electricity lines, transformers and switches.
Energy expert M Venugopal Rao said there was no rationality in the proposals submitted by the utilities. He said it was unjustifiable to remove telescopic system, which benefitted the domestic consumers. This removal would mean an additional 21 to 35.25 per cent burden on the consumers who fall under the category of 200 units to 400 units. He wanted the ERC not to consider this proposal of the power utilities and wanted the commission to direct them to continue the telescopic and slab system.
Rao said there was enough excess power with the national energy exchange and the rate during day per unit was Rs 2.80 and during night it was Rs 2.31 per unit. If this could be supplied in Telangana, it would come at Rs 4.67 per unit but the Discoms were not showing any interest on this, he said. He said the Discoms had no permission from the ERC to have temporary agreements and hence the government should take over the expenditure.
Congress leader M Kodanda Reddy urged the ERC not to accept the proposal of Discoms to increase the power tariff. He wanted the government to take the burden in case the price rise was inevitable. Stating that the government was stopping free power to the farmers, who were income tax payers, he wanted the government to provide free power to all farmers. Aam Aadmi Party leader P L Vishweshwar Rao criticised the usage of police force deployed at the venue. He said, “People are terrorised by deployment of huge police force at the venue. The public hearing, which should be done in a democratic manner, is done in a closed room.”

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