PUDUCHERRY: Representatives of political parties as well as consumers have opposed the Electricity Department proposal to increase the power charges, at a public hearing held here on Friday by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the State of Goa and Union Territories.
JERC chairman S K Chaturvedi heard the submissions of the parties, consumers and public on the tariff petitions for the 2015-16, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. The department has proposed an increase of nearly seven per cent for 2015-2016.
Speaking at the public hearing, Congress MLA Lakshminarayanan opposed the hike and insisted that the tariff for domestic consumers not be increased.
He said the government should make up for the loss of the Electricity Department by giving grants/subsidy, as was done by the Tamil Nadu government, since it is the duty of the Territorial government to provide power.
He urged the commission to make the government a party in submitting a petition for the enhancement of power tariff before the JERC. He added that the government was putting the blame on the JERC for the hike. The Congress legislator also wanted the fixed charge of Rs 30 levied on domestic consumers be dispensed with.
Meanwhile, CPI leader K Murugan, urged the JERC to instruct the Electricity Department to collect the huge arrears due from industries, which had defaulted and wanted the department to collect the tariff from an industrial firm in Yanam.