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Home News Power Sector News Delhi - Consumer activists to challenge power tariff hike

Delhi - Consumer activists to challenge power tariff hike

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DelhiThe threat of a massive power tariff hike is looming large and stakeholders and consumer activists are preparing to file a response to the hike sought by private discoms in the capital. The participation level at the public hearing to be held next month is expected to be larger than usual with a number of consumer activists already firmly stating that they will "fight tooth-and-nail and prevent the regulator DERC from increasing consumer tariff''.

"The regulator was supposed to hold a state advisory committee meeting before making discoms' tariff petition public, but they failed to do so. We have written to the DERC chairman about this lapse,'' said Anil Sood from NGO Chetna. Sood is a member of the state advisory committee that was set up under Section 83 of the Electricity Act and holds a meeting twice a year to discuss issues relating to the power industry. Sood also said that the committee members were preparing a response to each of the tariff rationalization methods proposed by the power companies and also double-checking the true-up costs gap claimed by discoms. "Proposals like time-of-the-day metering sound good theoretically, but are not always practical. This is more workable in cities which have flexible work timings and surplus power. In Delhi, the peak hours will always be morning and evening and people will be charged more under the garb of time-of-the-day metering,'' he said.

Sood added that the 80% power purchase costs claimed by discoms should be verified by a more qualified expert. "DERC lacks competence to verify the balance sheets of discoms to check their claims of losses or higher power purchase costs. They need to bring in expert CAs who can assess and analyze these balance sheets,'' he said. Atul Goyal from URJA also said that the consumer group was working to prepare their responses to the discoms' petitions and were evaluating all claims made by the power companies. "Theft reduction is one major issue we plan to raise in the public hearing. There are only a few localities in Delhi which are prone to power theft, but discoms are claiming that thefts occur all over the city. Discoms are technically not metering these theft prone areas. We also plan to challenge the losses claimed by the companies and will bring in our own experts for verifications,'' said Goyal.

Source- Times of India


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