BHUBANESWAR: As the State Advisory Committee of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) is scheduled to meet here on Thursday to seek opinions of various stakeholders on power tariff hike, the Odisha Rajya Bidyut Upavokta Mahasangha has decided to gherao OERC office to oppose the move.
The Rajya Bidyut Upavokta Mahasangha, a consumer body fighting for the rights of people, has been opposing further hike in power tariff on the grounds that distribution companies (discoms) have miserably failed to bring down the aggregated technical and commercial (AT&C) loss.
While the OERC has set a target to keep the AT&C loss at 23.77 per cent for Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) for the last three financial years, the estimated loss level of the utility during the current fiscal is 36.49 per cent.
Similarly, the AT&C loss of Northern Eastern Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) is 30.65 per cent as against OERC benchmark of 19.17 per cent. The Southern Electricity Supply Company (SOUTHCO) has the highest loss level at 40.23 per cent as against the target of 26.24 per cent.
The AT&C loss of Western Electricity Supply Company (WESCO) is 35.86 per cent against 20.40 per cent approved in its annual business plan by OERC.
“The huge loss level of the four discoms after 15 years of privatisation is not acceptable and this has proved their inefficiency. The consumers are being penalised for the inefficiency of the discoms,” said former finance minister Panchanan Kanungo.
Claiming that members of all political parties including Congress and trade unions will stage demonstration outside the OERC office on Thursday to voice their protest, Mahasangha secretary Rabi Behera reiterated his demand for an audit into the accounts of the discoms by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
If a State like Delhi without any power generating plants can provide power at cheaper rates to its consumer, there is no logic to accept the proposal of Gridco and the discoms for power tariff hike in Odisha, he said.
Opposition parties including-Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and INTUC have extended support to the proposed agitation.