As UT admn trips on norms, expect no power tariff hike
Residents of the city can expect no hike in power tariffs in the next financial year, as the Chandigarh electricity department has failed to get a commercial audit of its accounts as desired by the joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC).chandigarh Updated: Dec 19, 2013 09:58 IST
Residents of the city can expect no hike in power tariffs in the next financial year, as the Chandigarh electricity department has failed to get a commercial audit of its accounts as desired by the joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC).
The commission had turned down the proposal submitted by the department for enhancement in tariffs in the current financial year on the grounds that it had not submitted accounts based on commercial accounting principles, which is mandatory as per the JERC Tariff Regulations 2009. The administration had proposed a 48.68% hike in tariffs in different slabs of domestic and commercial categories.
After the setback to its proposal, the department secured approval from higher authorities for getting commercial audit done, and also invited tenders for appointing a consultant. However, it did not move beyond that.
The administration had last increased power tariffs in April 2012. At present, accounts of all departments of the UT administration are audited collectively, whereas, as per JERC requirement, the electricity department has to get its accounts audited separately.
UT superintending engineer MP Singh acknowledged, “We have not been able to get our accounts commercially audited, and there are strong possibilities that the commission may not consider our proposal for increase in tariffs this year too.” He said companies interested in the audit tender had raised “certain objections”, and the department would restart the process “shortly” after looking into the issues.
Even though the chances of a tariff hike nod are bleak as such, the department has started preparing the proposal for enhancement of tariffs for next year and has appointed a consultant for it. MP Singh says a 30% tariff hike would be sought. Besides, the department would submit its annual review of performance to the commission, which would then undertake a review of the variations between approvals and revised estimates of sale of electricity, income and expenditure.
Requirements of the city are met through central generating power stations of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) as determined by the government. This summer, the city suffered frequent breakdowns. The maximum peak load of Chandigarh is about 363 MW while it is projected at a maximum of 439 MW by 2016-17.
There are nearly 2.5 lakh consumers in different categories, including 1.75 lakh in the domestic slabs.