Electricity consumers' body of Assam decries tariff hike
The All Assam Electricity Consumers’ Association (AAECA) has come down heavily on the APDCL’s (Assam Power Distribution Company Limited) decision to levy a Fuel
GUWAHATI: The All Assam Electricity Consumers' Association (AAECA) has come down heavily on the APDCL's (Assam Power Distribution Company Limited) decision to levy a Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment (FPPPA) charge of 50 paisa per unit on all categories of consumers on electricity bills for the months of January, February and March, 2023.
In a statement issued on Monday, the AAECA pointed out that the APDCL has levied a series of tariff hikes in recent times on the pretext of high price of natural gas (FPPPA) at a time when some other States are providing up to 200 units of power free of charge to their respective consumers. The AAECA said that the APDCL has even raised the power tariff at times when the FPPPA was not applicable. The consumers' body also accused the APDCL of periodically hiking the power tariff in order to camouflage its own failures.
The AAECA said that spiralling prices of various commodities have already hit the common people of Assam very hard. However, instead of providing some relief, the State Government has added the additional burden of frequent hikes in the power tariff upon the common people.
The consumers' body termed the repeated hikes in the power tariff as "illogical and unfair". The AAECA pointed out that the consumers had protested when the power tariff was earlier hiked by 30 paisa per unit, but the APDCL has disregarded the public sentiment and resorted to the latest hike of an additional 50 paisa per unit. Terming the latest tariff hike as "loot", the AAECA urged the public to protest against this move. It may be mentioned that the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has already opposed the power tariff hike and announced that it will carry out a strike on February 1.
The APDCL recently announced the power tariff hike as per provisions of the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment) Regulations, 2010. A Notice to this effect stated that the relevant bills will be the ones generated in February, March and April. It also specified that "all adjustments regarding short/excess recovery due to seasonal variation of consumption within the stipulated period will be adjusted in subsequent periods or as may be directed by the AERC".
There are three categories of domestic consumers under the APDCL based on units of power consumed – one category of consumers (up to 120 units) is charged Rs 5.30 (less 75 paisa subsidy under a government scheme) per unit, the next category (121-240 units) is charged Rs 6.60 per unit and the last category (over 241 units) is charged Rs 7.60 per unit. An amount of 50 paisa per unit will be now added to these three rates.