The Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) on Monday proposed that the electricity price in the state be hiked to raise the required resources needed to maintain power supply in the state.
JUVNL chairman-cum-managing director RK Srivastava, while attending an emergency meeting with energy secretary Rahul Purwar in wake of the black-outs in Damodar Valley Corporation-dependent districts — Hazaribagh, Koderma, Ramgarh, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Giridih — said the power system is reeling under a “pool of problems” which can only be fixed if the infrastructure is improved, which in turn is only possible through increasing the power tariff.
The DVC has been cutting power in six the districts because of the dues owed to it by Jharkhand. Srivastava said DVC is owed Rs 600 crore, but DVC maintains it is owed Rs 5,000 crore.
Srivastava said JUVNL purchases power at Rs 5 per unit but supplies the consumer at merely Rs 2.20 per unit.
“Without plugging the gap between purchase and sale loss, the improvement of power infrastructure is not possible. Power is costlier in neighbouring states. In West Bengal, for example, the power tariff is Rs 8 per unit,” he said.
“We will file an application to the electricity regulatory commission next week for enhancing the power tariff,” he said. However the CMD refused to disclose by how much the tariff would be increased.
As per the Electricity Act, 2003, the decision to hike the electricity tariff can only be taken by the Jharkhand state electricity regulatory commission (JSERC).
“The licensee (JUVNL) is yet to file its new petition with the JSERC, following which there will be series of hearings after which the new tariff will be fixed,” said Jharkhand state regulatory commission secretary AK Mehta.
The JUVNL tariff was last hiked in 2015 after a gap of three years.