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Power pinch for parties

Distribution companies have revised tariff rates for temporary power connection for functions like weddings, social, political, educational and religious functions.

As per guidelines issued by distribution companies, temporary connections for such events would now cost 1.5 times more than the current rate.

A senior official of North Bihar Distribution Company Ltd, speaking on condition of anonymity, would not say what the earlier tariff for temporary connection was. “There will be almost 50 per cent increase in every category compared to existing rate,” he said.

The companies have pulled up their socks to strictly implement the new guidelines to enhance revenue from temporary connections. As per the circular issued by the companies to all assistant and junior engineers a week ago, a consumer seeking temporary power connection for a wedding would have to shell out Rs 4,700. There are a few other criteria regarding the minimum load to be availed of vis-à-vis function.

However, the company has the right to make changes in the load after an on-the-spot verification of the premises for which temporary connection has been sought.

The company would return security deposit to the consumers after the temporary connection is withdrawn. The guidelines make it clear the tariff rate could be changed in line with the tariff order, rate revision order and other orders passed by Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission from time to time.

The commission, in its tariff order announced on February 28 for financial year 2014-15, gave a much-needed relief to power consumers by not hiking tariff for all types of consumers. But consumers criticised the hike in cost of temporary power.

“The commission gave us relief by not hiking tariff rate. But it found a way to increase revenue through organisers of social, political and religious events,” said Mithapur resident Umakant Singh. “The company should have spared wedding and educational functions as it puts additional burden on those funding the functions,” said Rajeev Nagar resident Ravindra Kumar.