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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Govt’s power policy comes under attack

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, February 11, 2013
First Published: 13:51 IST(11/2/2013) | Last Updated: 13:57 IST(11/2/2013)

Steps taken by state government like starting distribution of electric supply to private players in the form of franchisee system and contractual labour arrangement by power companies came under sharp attack at a convention organised by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyut Mazdoor Mahasangh (All India Electricity Employees’ Federation) affiliated to RSS-backed Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh. Energy minister Rajendra Shukla was also present at the event.

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“Politicians have ruined the electricity department. They took decisions which benefited a few and brought loss to many,” said KK Hardas, national president of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyut Mazdoor Mahasangh. Under the present circumstances, ensuring quality and quantity of power is a distant dream. Splitting the electricity department into several autonomous bodies backlashed, therefore electricity Act, 2003 should be scrapped, demanded Hardas.

Energy minister Rajendra Shukla demanded better coordination between various government departments, the absence of which delays coal supply to power plants, hampering power production. He said the state government has allocated about Rs. 25,000 for various electricity projects.

The two-day convention started on Sunday. State general secretary Hemant Tiwari said members from around 23 states are participating in the convention. BHOPAL: With elections in mind, chief minister of the state may have announced separate electricity charges for farmers but no politician or bureaucrat has powers to decide on electricity tariff except the Madhya Pradesh Electricity R e g u l at o r y C o m m i s s i o n (MPERC).

“Neither chief minister nor any bureaucrat is vested with power to fix electricity tariff. Even regulatory commission cannot pass orders without public hearing,” said Suraj Shivpuri, retired CMD, electricity department.
Electricity has been treated more as a vote garnering issue than being seriously dealt with. Most of the decisions are taken with voters in mind rather than talking sense and feasibility, said Shivpuri.

There are set norms for fixing up electricity tariff; it falls in jurisdiction of MP electricity regulatory commission.
The power distribution companies based on calculation of power generation companies decide on the rates and submit proposal to the electricity commission, which in turn decides upon the tariff after public hearing and inviting objections.
“Power distribution companies would have to come up with a proposal before state electricity regulatory commission to bring change in the tariff for a particular section of the society,” said AB Bajpaye, member, electricity commission.
Till date there is no such proposal with regulatory commission, added Bajpaye.

Rajeev Agarwal ,at a maintenance officer of central region power distribution company, said there is about Rs. 960 crore due on farmers falling in central region’s jurisdiction.

Another officer on condition of anonymity said this decision of the state government might cost dear to the exchequer.


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