Power tariff hike likely in a day or two

Adding to the miseries of the summer, Delhi residents have to shell out more now for the power they consume. The Delhi government has made up its mind on increasing power tariff in the city by about 15 per cent. On Monday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit agreed with the demands of the power companies and hinted that her government may finally agree to their proposal on the hike.

Sources said that the matter is pending before the power regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission [DERC], which is likely to announce new power tariff in a day or two.

Talking to reporters, Dikshit said, 'Power companies are suffering losses and the longer it takes us to increase the tariff, the more will be their loss. We are waiting for the DERC to announce the tariff order. Everybody knows about the situation. I hope the decision of the regulatory body will be based on realistic view of the current situation.'

The government sources said a 15 per cent increase on power tariff is likely.

While north Delhi discom Tata Delhi Power has sought an 18 per cent rise, BSES Rajdhani wants a hike of 20 per cent and BSES Yamuna has asked for a 27 per cent increase in consumer tariffs.

The three private power companies had submitted their petitions for revised tariffs in January this year, arguing that they have been incurring 'huge losses' in the absence of a cost reflective tariff structure.

The demanded hike is not inclusive of amounts claimed by the discoms for past years, which DERC had declared was due to the companies.

For the consumers, the implementation of the long-pending draft Delhi electricity supply code and performance standard regulations is the only sop on offer in the upcoming DERC announcement. In the proposal, a discom is liable to pay a penalty ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 500 per day, for failure to provide timely services or address grievances.

Delhi has been reeling under severe outages for the last four days after state-run NHPC cut supply of 200 MW power to BSES for failing to pay up dues of over Rs 225 crore while another generation firm Damodar Valley Corporation has threatened to stop 280 MW supply to the discom if it did not make payment of around Rs 330 crore.

The regulator in August last year had hiked the tariff by 22 per cent for all categories of consumers. The tariff was hiked by five per cent in February and by up to two per cent in May to adjust the power purchase cost of the distribution companies.

The Delhi government has 49 per cent share in the discom while Reliance Infrastructure has 51 per cent share.

Meanwhile, justifying the demand by the private discoms to hike the tariff, Dikshit said cost of power has increased significantly in the last few years and the new rates would have to be finalised taking into consideration the ground realities.
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