S. Venugopal, Board member, told the commission that liabilities were mounting and if matters were allowed to continue this way, the tariff for all sections of power consumers would have to be increased by Rs. 2.10 a unit. Curbs in power supply were the only solution.
He proposed a 25 per cent cut in the supply of power to industries at the normal tariff applicable to them. They could be asked to pay the actual rates at which the KSEB bought high-cost power from outside for consumption above this restricted level. Similarly, he proposed putting a cap of 200 units a month on domestic power consumption. The consumers could be asked to pay a higher tariff for consumption above this level.
He told the commission that the situation could be reviewed in November to decide if such regulations should continue.
The commission criticised the Board's request, asking whether the tariff increase allowed three months ago had not improved the Board's financial position.
P. Parameswaran and Mathew George, commission members who were in the chair, said the Board's accounts would have to be subjected to a thorough examination.
Mr. George expressed the doubt if the KSEB's current financial difficulties were not because of poor planning. The Board appeared to have failed this time in entering into medium-term agreements with power suppliers and this had necessitated spot power purchase at exorbitant costs. Mr. Venugopal clarified that it was not because the Board had not tried to strike such agreements, but because of stiff competition from other States in accessing scarce power on the open market.
Those representing domestic power consumers told the commission that the morning load-shedding now in force was causing a great deal of difficulties for consumers.