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After fuel, time for power tariff hike

Be prepared to shell out more for every unit of electricity you consume.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2012 11:04 IST
Atul Mathur

Be prepared to shell out more for every unit of electricity you consume.

Even as the temperatures in the Capital soar and the three power discoms struggle to cater to the rising power demand, the Delhi Electricity regulatory Commission (DERC) is giving final touches to the new power tariff. Sources confirm that the hike will be announced in the next couple of days.

While the three discoms — North Delhi Power Limited, BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) — have demanded an increase of 19-27 per cent on the existing tariff, sources said the hike may be of 10-20 per cent.

The DERC had increased power tariff by 22 per cent in August 2011 and then again hiked it by 5 per cent in February followed by another two per cent in May this year to adjust the power purchase cost.

The discoms have argued that the purchase cost has gone up by more than 80% in the past four years. "The cost should normally constitute 75-80 per cent of the total tariff but as on date, it is more than 100%. We are losing almost R2 per unit of electricity we sell," said a power discom official.

A senior DERC official said, "The discoms are facing accumulated deficit. We will try to factor in their problems but will also try and keep the hike as balanced as possible."

The state-run NHPC recently cut 200 MW of supply to BSES after the latter failed to clear dues of more than R225 crore. Damodar Valley Corporation has also threatened to stop 280 MW supply to the discom if it failed to pay R330 crore. Delhi government's own power generation companies —Pragati Power and Indraprastha Power — asked BSES to clear their dues of around R1,300 crore last week.

"We were expecting the announcement today. It may happen tomorrow. It will lead to power crisis if it is not announced soon. The discoms do not have money and banks are not ready to give them any loan either," Delhi chief secretary PK Tripathi said.

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit also said an increase in tariff was imminent. "The DERC will take a decision based on facts. It should have announced the new tariff in the beginning of June,” she added.