VISAKHAPATNAM: Though the government has hiked power tariff in a bid to save the struggling EPDCL, the picture is not so rosy for the State power distributor, which will still suffer a loss of Rs 192 crore. Though the EPDCL submitted proposals to increase power tariff in a bid to recover from its annual loss of Rs 441 crore, the decision of Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Committee (APERC) resulted in a marginal increase of Rs 249 crore in revenue generation. The APERC asked the EPDCL to reduce transmission losses and other expenses to improve it’s finance.
In all, there are about 2,950 HT customers in EPDCL area spread over the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari of which 1,030 HT consumers are located in Vizag itself. At present, the HT consumers in Visakhapatnam circle are paying an average power bill of about Rs 167 crore every month. Due to the hike in power tariff, they have to shell out an additional Rs 9 crore every month.
“But, the government could have avoided imposing additional burden on consumers, if it pursued with the Telangana government to refund Rs 1,000 crore as compensation towards revenue diverted from the EPDCL,” opined O Naresh Kumar, vice-president of Vizag Development Council.
He pointed out that the tariff had not been fixed since 2001, based on the efficiency of individual distribution company, and the latest annual statements reveal that thousands of crores of rupees were diverted from the EPDCL to the other distribution companies. WIt is unclear whether the AP government would seek the compensation from Telangana, he added.