Uttar Pradesh announces steep hike in power tariffApril 15th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by admin
Lucknow, April 15 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday announced a substantial hike in the power tariff in the state. An increase of eight percent has been made in the tariff for domestic power consumption, 14 percent in commercial establishments, and a whopping 22 percent for small industries. Rural areas have been exempted from the power rates hike.
Increase in the tariff at this scale has been ordered after a gap of about three and a half years. The last substantial power tariff hike was announced Nov 19, 2004.
However, a marginal increase in industrial power tariff was ordered May 10, 2007, but both domestic and commercial urban consumers were exempted from that hike.
Justifying the raise, Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation managing director Avanish Awasthi said: “The hike is only marginal as far as the domestic urban consumer was concerned.”
Citing an example, he added: “The high-end consumer who was paying at the rate of Rs.3 per unit so far, will now have to pay just about Rs.3.30 per unit.”
Engineers association chief Shailendra Dubey felt, “The power corporation had no choice but to enhance the tariff.”
According to Dubey, “The corporation’s losses have shot up to about Rs.5,000 crores (Rs.50 billion) and all because a large chunk of power requirement of the state was met through import from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).”
“As against the state’s daily generation of 600 million units, Uttar Pradesh was importing about 90-100 million units a day from the centrally-run NTPC at a price that ranged between Rs.3 and Rs.10 per unit.”
Significantly, despite a steady increase in the demand for power that had gone up by nearly 4,000 MW, Uttar Pradesh has failed to enhance its generating capacity beyond a paltry 400 MW.
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