Consumers in Odisha bracing for Steep Power Tariff Hike!

TNI Bureau: Common people should be aware of the fact that no government will provide them a burden-free life. After the LPG, diesel price hike and rail fare hike by the Centre, now Odisha government is planning to hike power tariff from February 1 ahead of the arrival of summer.

People of Odisha should be prepared to face another jolt as the power tariff hike will put extra burden on them. After spending money on cooking gas, essential commodities, food items and rail fare, how much they could afford for power, which is also essential for the consumers.

The state government has proposed for power tariff hike to the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) after the state-owned GRIDCO and Odisha Power Transmission Commission along with four power distribution companies appealed to the government recommending the tariff hike.

If the proposal will be given a nod, the consumer has to pay Rs 6 more per unit. However, the National Institute of Indian Labour Organisation has strongly opposed to the proposal condemning the government. It said that the government is looking forward to put additional pressure on the public instead of rectifying its own faults.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Bhubaneswar, Ramesh Chandra Satapathy, Secretary of the organisation, said that they will show all the data to the OERC on the date of hearing on the power tariff hike. Analysing the factors of tariff hike, he said that it is hiked for increasing the capacity of power generation at low cost, set up of high-power GRID substation for the power distribution, construction of high-power tower line, and to cooperate the government in the developmental work.

However, the government has not taken any initiatives to augment and regulate the power firms since 1999 for which the power department is facing criticism from all ends. The government has been hiking the tariff instead of looking at the basic problems occurred in the department.

Mr Sarapathy said that the power firms should reduce the ATC loss, which has not been done since 1999. Government owns 49% in all the power firms, but the substations have not been repaired for last 40-50 years. It causes massive loss to the common people in rural villages. Even majority of people are using electricity illegally. If we will analyse the number of consumers, only 75% consumers are paying electricity bill out of 43 lakh consumers. If the power tariff will be hiked only the honest consumers will face jolt.

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