Power consumers are waiting anxiously over whether the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) succumbs to the discoms' demand to hike domestic power tariff for the year 2015-16.
The power companies had submitted a joint proposal suggesting nearly 24% hike in the power tariff.
Subsequently, the MPERC had sought response from the power consumers before taking any decision. Public hearings were alsoheld in three major cities of the state — Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur.
At the hearings, the citizens, consumers and representatives of industries and other groups had put forth their objections to the steep hike in the power tariff as suggested by the power distribution companies.
Majority of representations were against the power dicoms on the grounds that the proposed hike was unjustified.
The third and final hearing was held in Jabalpur. Now, the MPERC has to take a final decision, keeping in view the demands of the companies as well as the grievances of the citizens.
"While the power distribution companies have sought hike on the grounds that they need to increase tariff because of their poor financial condition, the citizens oppose it as the hike will disturb the household budget of the common man," a senior discom official said on condition of anonymity.
"The discoms did not increase the power tariff in the last couple of years apparently because they were election years. Now, they intend to get the power tariff increased but a steep hike is not possible as other states have either kept the tariff same or have even reduced it," the official added.
Meanwhile, the MPERC is yet to issue a communiqué about the date when it will take a decision on the contentious matter. Sources, however, said the new tariff will be announced in April.
As there are technical issues involved and the financial aspects have to be taken care of, the MPERC will take adecision after weighing the pros and cons, the sources said. At the most, the hike is likely by mid-April, the sources added.