Guwahati; Oct. 1: A city-based consultant engineer today demanded that Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) collect electricity revenues from government establishments properly before hiking power tariff.
The engineer, J.N. Khataniar, said only Rs 6 crore is collected as revenue from government establishments in Ass-am as against Rs 219 crore from the people. He said if revenue is collected properly from government offices, institutions and buildings, including schools, colleges and hospitals, the present power tariff would go down.
“Assam power minister Pradyut Bordoloi has recently said as against a total monthly expenditure of Rs 300 crore, monthly revenue collection from power is Rs 225 crore in Assam, resulting in a loss of Rs 900 crore a year for the APDCL. It was to compensate this loss that the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) has decided to hike power tariff recently. But of Rs 225 crore, only Rs 6 crore is from government establishments. The rest Rs 119 crore came from the people,” Khataniar said.
“After fixing different electricity charges for different categories, how can a lump sum amount of total Rs 6 crore a month is being realised for many years against all government organisations spreading all over the state without proper billing and metering, ignoring the actual consumption?” Khataniar asked.
“When the APDCL can be so strict in collecting revenues from the public, why cannot it collect revenue from government establishments? If this unpaid revenue is collected by the APDCL under strict instruction and watch of the commission, the monthly revenue collection will jump from Rs 225 crore to a very good profitable amount which shall be more than monthly expenditure of Rs 300 crore.”
He said he had raised these questions in front of officials of the commission at a recent public hearing on power tariff in the city, but they could not give a proper reply. Khataniar said he had also suggested the commission to find out the actual connected load to all the government establishments, as on date, based on spot verification.
“The APDCL officials told me that there was no provision to take a lump sum amount as revenue from government establishments instead of calculating meter readings,” Khataniar said.
Khataniar’s demand bears relevance considering the commission’s move for a steep hike of power tariff despite opposition from public.
As revenue is not collected properly from government sectors, it is often seen that power is grossly misused in government establishments.