The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) on Friday increased power tariff for domestic consumers by nearly 40%, but announced only a nominal hike for the 95,000 power employees.
After the hike, a regular consumer will be charged anything between Rs 4-5 per unit plus fixed monthly charges at Rs 75 per KW. The average bill a household runs up in a summer month is around Rs 3000.
In comparison, despite the revision, depending on the rank power employees will have to pay fixed monthly charges of anything between Rs 175 and Rs 425. Those who have an air conditioner will have to pay an additional Rs 500 per month. Power employees also enjoy unmetered and unaudited supply.
These privileges granted to power employees, however, are against the Electricity Act, said UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parisahad president Awadhesh Kumar Verma.
Not only does the act forbid giving unmetered electricity to consumers of any category, it also makes it binding on the licensee Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) to install meters at the premises of all consumers without any discrimination.
But state power employees do not have meters at their premises. In fact, when former chief secretary, Neera Yadav, ordered installation of meters at the time of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government the move met with opposition and the order was withdrawn eventually.
It is the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited that proposes tariff revision and the UPERC, which is the regulator, determines the tariff taking into account various factors.
According to UPPCL data, there are 94,049 power employees and pensioners and together they consumed more than 18,583 MW of electricity in 2011-12.
“But this is also an estimate since there are no meters to record the consumption,” said an UPERC official, who did not want to be named. “We are now asking the UPPCL to submit a metering plan for unmetered consumers of all categories, including power employees,” he said.