Even though power tariff was hiked by 17.8% on Friday, the UT electricity department is planning to give “another shocker” to city residents by hiking next year’s power tariff as well. The electricity department will be filing a revised petition to hike power tariff in the next financial year, as a shortfall of Rs 264.98 crore is to be covered from the next financial year (2017-18) onwards.
Work towards corporatisation, power dept told
Taking up the petition for approving the multi-year tariff for 2016-17, the joint electricity regulatory commission has also asked the UT electricity department to work towards corporatisation of the department.
Superintending engineer, electricity, MP Singh said, “We are inviting tenders and will hire consultant for the purpose. The process is on and it will take another year to corporatise the electricity department.”
Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) chairman SK Chaturvedi, in a public hearing in March this year, had also claimed that they have proposed that the electricity department should be corporatised for its better functioning as an independent body. “This will mean that the department will come under a corporation and will not be dependent on the government for its finances, resulting in extra burden on consumers, who will have to shell out more as the department after getting an independent entity will have to generate resources on its own as it will not get funds from the government,” said the sources in the electricity department.
The department will have to generate resources on its own for paying the salaries and pension of its employees, purchasing new equipment and procuring additional power whenever required.
At present, the UT electricity department is facing losses worth 15%, including due to misuse of domestic power for commercial purposes. A loss of Rs 40 crore per year is incurred from the city villages and colonies as domestic tariff is being charged even though the places are being put to commercial use. Even though the department claims to be checking bypassing, tampering of meters, accuracy of meters and thefts, still the loss continues. Even some of the government institutions have failed to pay the bills to the department and the loss due to kundi connections continues as well.