UP govt to probe ‘buying of expensive power from pvt cos’
A delegation of the council met UP energy minister Srikant Sharma and demanded a probe into alleged expensive buying of power from private players in the sector.Updated: Jul 07, 2019, 12:09 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to order an inquiry into ‘buying of expensive electricity from private firms’ as alleged by the Power Consumers’ Council.
A delegation of the council met UP energy minister Srikant Sharma and demanded a probe into alleged expensive buying of power from private players in the sector.
“We informed the minister about the facts of the case and also highlighted the plight of the consumers. He has assured us that action will be taken if any discrepancies were found,” said Avdhesh Verma, president of the consumers’ council.
He said that the average rate of power purchase from private firms was Rs 4.75 per unit whereas from state production it cost around Rs 3.65 and Rs 3.46 per unit from the Centre.
He questioned the logic behind buying expensive power from private firms, when it was available at cheaper rates, and passing on the burden to consumers.
The consumer council has also registered a strong protest over the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) proposal for a 25 per cent hike for domestic power consumers. Against the prevailing power tariff of Rs 4.90 per unit for the first 150 units, the new tariff will be Rs 6.20 per unit in the same slab. The power tariff for the commercial sector will also be hiked by 10 to 15 per cent.
“This will be a big blow to the people of UP who already pay five times more than New Delhi consumers,” said the consumer council chief. Comparing power tariffs in Delhi with that of UP, especially within the NCR cities of Noida and Ghaziabad, he said, “In Delhi, 200 units of electricity cost Rs 200, at Re 1 per unit. In UP, up to 150 units, the rate is Rs 4.90 per unit and from 150 to 300 units, it is as high as Rs 5.40 a unit.”
UPPCL has already submitted the proposed new power tariff structure for 2019-20 to the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) for vetting and final approval.
The UPERC is now in the process of conducting a public hearing after which it will take a call on the new tariff order for the current financial year. Verma said the consumer council has already lodged its protest against the proposed hike and submitted a memorandum detailing facts which do not justify any further increase in tariff.