APDCL hiking power tariff by flouting AERC decision: AAECA
The All Assam Electricity Consumers’ Association (AAECA) has accused the (APDCL) of flouting policies and directives of the AERC
GUWAHATI: The All Assam Electricity Consumers' Association (AAECA) has accused the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) of flouting policies and directives of the Assam Electricity Regulatory Authority (AERC). The consumers' body has body further claimed that the APDCL periodically increases the power tariff to offset annual losses that are suffered primarily due to inefficiency and corruption.
Addressing media persons here on Saturday, AAECA's convenor Ajay Acharjee and advisor Bimal Das said that on March 21, 2022 the AERC had approved a power tariff of 59 paisa per unit for general consumers for the fiscal year 2022-23, which came into effect on April 1, 2022. However, Acharjee said that the APDCL has subsequently increased the tariff several times in spite of the rate duly fixed by the AERC. He said that the APDCL has increased the power tariff by threefold to fourfold since August-September last year, while keeping the public in the dark.
On the other hand, the AAECA office-bearer said, the APDCL has submitted a proposal to the AERC for increasing the power tariff by Rs 1 per unit for the fiscal year 2023-24. The APDCL has mentioned in the proposal that it will suffer revenue loss of Rs 1,505.25 crore in the ongoing fiscal year (2022-23), in order to justify the proposed hike of Rs 1 per unit, he added.
Acharjee asserted that the APDCL has been suffering losses over the years due only to inefficiency, corruption and aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) loss. He said that the AERC had approved AT&C loss of 15 per cent for the ongoing year, but the recent proposal submitted by the APDCL to the AERC has already pegged the AT&C loss at 16.5 per cent. The APDCL has shown that the 1.5 per cent additional AT&C loss will entail purchase of another 431 million units (MU) of power, which will cost Rs 172.4 crore. Acharjee said that now the hapless public will have to bear the additional expenditure caused by the AT&C loss.
Acharjee demanded that the APDCL should immediately stop enforcing period hikes in the power tariff and also stop sending unnaturally inflated monthly power bills to consumers.