Discoms not so poor after all
Delhi’s power distribution companies are desperate to make a hole in your pocket with a hike in the electricity tariff this year, reports Avishek G Dastidar.delhi Updated: May 24, 2009 23:08 IST
Delhi’s power distribution companies are desperate to make a hole in your pocket with a hike in the electricity tariff
They have painted a grim picture of their earnings citing increased expenditure in buying power and running operations.
Power companies have told Delhi’s power regulator that the cost of wheeling charges — paid to carry electricity from the point of generation to the point of distribution — have increased by 47 per cent in the past one year.
Similarly, they have said charges paid to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for supplying electricity — they buy around 70 per cent of power from NTPC — increased by 26 per cent last year compared to the previous year.
“This alone had an impact of Rs 780 crore more,” said a senior distcom official who did not wish to be named. “We have also implemented the 6th Pay Commission for around 10,000 employees.”
But the picture is not so grim, government sources said.
In about four months, NTPC’s new power plant in Dadri will be operational, giving Delhi around 900 MW power at Rs 3 per unit — almost half of what distcoms shell out from most bilateral agreements.
“For discoms, there is a straight savings of at least Rs 400-500 crore the moment Dadri gets operational,” said a senior power department official not wanting to be named citing protocol issues.
“In fact, the discoms will be left will surplus power to trade and earn more later in the year.”
“This is just a clever ploy to extract a fat subsidy from the government.” But Delhiites may still be facing a power tariff hike.
Sources said a government subsidy, which came into being in 2004-05 to offset a 10 per cent hike, was about to be withdrawn.
In Delhi, the power tariff increased only around 2.5 per cent per year in the past seven years of privatization. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) will be announcing its tariff order shortly.