While the agricultural sector, which is already enjoying power subsidy, has been spared the hike, the domestic, non-domestic and industrial consumers will have to shell more for power. The Power distribution companies -- Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) -- notified the hike imposing fuel surcharge after concurrence from Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, sources said.
When quizzed about the third hike in five months, Haryana Power Minister Ajay Yadav tried to pass the buck first on to the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) and then to the power distribution companies claiming that the state government did not have much role to play in the recent hike as the power discoms were "autonomous bodies".
Officials asserted that the recent hike had been effected to recover extra expenditure of Rs 350 crore incurred on costly short-term purchases by the discoms in the first quarter (April-June) of the current financial year.
A senior functionary of the state government claimed that the state government had to go in for power purchase at a high cost to save the kharif crops due to highly deficient rainfall from May to July this year. In fact, the state government had already demanded an amount of Rs 1,100 crore from the Central Government as part of the drought relief package for purchase power at high cost.
Meanwhile, INLD secretary general Ajay Chautala has blamed the costly short-term power purchased by the discoms on Hooda government's short-sightedness resulting in frequent shutdown of power plants due to technical snags."The state government should immediately order a rollback of the power tariff hike failing which the INLD would launch a statewide agitation," he warned.
3rd rate revision since April 1
April 1: state govt hiked power tariff from 10% to 15% & (additional revenue Rs 1,795 crore).
July 1: power tariff raised from 12 paise to 28 paise on account of FSA (additional revenue Rs 1,087 crore)
September 1: power tariff increased from 17 paise to 45 paise (additional revenue Rs 350 crore)