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UPERC may make electricity costlier for rural consumers

The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) is preparing to announce the new power tariff for the current financial year.

lucknow Updated: Nov 29, 2017 11:02 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UPERC,UP Electricity Regulatory Commission,Civic polls
The rural domestic consumers are likely to experience the real tariff shock this time as the commission may make the use of electricity costlier for them by 70%-150% at one go.

The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) is preparing to announce the new power tariff for the current financial year on Thursday, without waiting for the code of conduct to be over on December 1, the day of counting of votes for the civic polls.

According to insiders in the commission, the rural domestic consumers are likely to experience the real tariff shock this time as the commission may make the use of electricity costlier for them by 70%-150% at one go, something that is being seen as unprecedented.

The tariff for the unmetered rural domestic consumers is likely to be increased from Rs 180 per connection per month to Rs 300 per connection per month. But the tariff will further go up in their case to Rs 400 per month from March 31 if they fail to install meters on their premise by the time. There are around 70 lakh unmetered consumes in villages in the state and their tariff, according to the UPPCL, is too low causing huge losses to it.

The tariff in respect of the metered rural domestic consumers is likely to increase to Rs 3 per unit for consumption of first 100 units, putting them at par with their urban counterparts in that category. They will be charged Rs 4 per units for units consumption between 101 and 150 and Rs 4.50 per unit above that. The slabs for the rural consumers are being prescribed for the first time.

However, the urban domestic consumers are likely to be let off with just 5% tariff hike, which will be the least in the recent years. While there may be some hike for the commercial consumers, no tariff increase is likely to be made for the industries.

The commission in its tariff order is also expected to direct the authorities to lay underground power cables in Noida and Ghaziabad to minimize power disruptions in these cities.

The commission, according to sources, is under immense pressure from the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) management to announce the tariff on November 30 only so that the tariff increase comes into effect from December 1 and protests over it are lost in the poll din.

“The UPPCL authorities were summoned by the chief minister’s office on Tuesday morning trying to know if the tariff announcement could be deferred till the winter session and Gujarat polls,” sources said adding, “The UPPCL officials, however, convinced the CM office about the urgency of the tariff.”

UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad president Avadhesh Kumar Verma says, “What is the urgency to announce the new electricity rates right now when the UPERC has the time till January 4 to declare the new tariff on the basis of the UPPCL’s proposal?”

“We have not sought any permission from the state election commission to announce the tariff but we presume the commission will have no objection because the voting will be over on Wednesday and hence the question of the tariff declaration affecting the voters in any manner does not arise,” a UPERC official said.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 11:02 IST