HYDERABAD: Congress has urged the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission to spare consumers, especially the lower slab category, from the proposed hike in electricity tariffs demanded by distribution companies of electricity from the south and from the north (discoms).
A congressional delegation has submitted a petition to the TSERC urging it to find other ways to help electric utility companies rather than allowing them to impose a huge hike in electricity tariffs on consumers.
Congress blamed the continued negligence of the TRS government as the reason the discoms ended up in the red and demanded that the TSERC examine the reasons for the discom losses and suggest remedial action.
Giving details of the petition, Telangana Congress official spokesman Boreddy Ayodhya Reddy said on Monday that he urged the TSERC to review the estimate of energy needs submitted by discoms, to review the estimates of purchase costs of electricity and not to authorize the increase in tariffs proposed by the discoms.
“There is a need to examine why discoms are in financial crisis and explore ways to get them out of the red. We also urged the TSERC to ensure that strict measures are taken to reduce electrical accidents and to allow the objector to be heard in person before the TSERC makes a decision on the application of discoms to increase electricity tariff,” said Ayodhya Reddy.
Referring to the discoms proposal asking for an increase of Rs 50 per unit for all domestic consumers, Rs 1 per unit for all LT commercials (except hair salons) Rs 1 per unit for all consumers in the LT industry, he stated that a reasonable periodic increase in tariffs may be acceptable but this abrupt increase in tariff after five years for all slabs in absolute value is not reasonable.
“It is the domestic consumers of the lower slabs who face a higher tariff increase than the consumers of the upper slabs. The average monthly electricity bill of a typical 0-100 slab household consumer becomes almost double due to this tariff increase. This is going to impact a large number of people in Telangana as 0-100 home slab consumers account for almost two-thirds of the total 1.15 crore home consumers,” said Ayodhya Reddy.
Stating that the financial crisis of discoms is the result of their failure to file annual revenue applications (ARRs) and tariff proposals over the past three years, he said that discoms do not have approval from the TRS government to submit ARR and tariff increase proposals. . The same applies to regularization declarations. “The state government appears to be the main contributor to the financial crisis facing discoms and TSERC should seriously look into this issue,” he demanded.