To overcome power crisis in the state, Grid Corporation of Odisha has sought permission from Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) to purchase power from private companies, officials said.
"We have filed a petition with OERC to purchase power from private companies. Though OERC has stipulated a price of Rs 2.75 per unit, the companies are asking for Rs 3.20 per unit," Grid Corporation of Odisha (Gridco) Director P K Pradhan said.
The corporation wants power from 24 private electricity producers like JSPL, Navbharat, Bhushan Power and Steel and Aditya Alumina among others.
However, sources said OERC is reluctant to allow Gridco to purchase power at higher rate as it would ultimately hit the consumers.
If Gridco procures power at Rs 2.75 per unit as per OERC's permission, the total financial burden will be around Rs 300 crore. On the other hand, the burden will be more than Rs 400 crore if it purchases power at the rate demanded by private companies.
"If there is an additional expenditure for Gridco, then it will have to raise the power tariff next year," former OERC member K C Badu said.
Opposition Congress and BJP, on the other hand, demanded that the state government give subsidy to purchase power as the state has failed to meet its internal demand.
Congress has also given a call for 'Bijuli Satyagrah' after Dussehra festival.
State BJP vice-president Prithviraj Harichandan said: "Given the mismanagement and losses in power distribution, it is likely that the state government will increase power tariff putting additional burden on the consumers."
Meanwhile, ruling party's spokesperson Amar Satpathy said the state government is aware of the power situation and is planning to purchase power to safeguard the interests of the consumers.
Source- Business standard