T Muni Krishniah (left) and Sunil Verma at The United Club in Bistupur on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) officials visited Jamshedpur on Friday to collect power tariff hike proposals from Tata Power and Jusco, the two licensee for electricity distribution.
The regulatory watchdog, which has already written to the EC for clarification on whether tariff revision across all districts now would amount to violation of model code of conduct, conducted two back-to-back public hearings of Tata Power Company Limited and Jusco for fixing the new rates at The United Club, Bistupur.
JSERC member (finance) Sunil Verma and member (engineering) T. Muni Krishniah attended the hearings that began at 11am and continued till 5.30pm.
Later speaking to The Telegraph, Krishniah said they expected the EC’s reply on April 2 when the forum of regulators would meet in Delhi.
“We have written to the EC seeking its advice on whether we can announce the new tariff. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has sent a similar letter. We expect some communication from the EC at the Delhi meeting. Otherwise, we will have to wait for the poll process to get over (May 16) for announcing the new tariff,” he added.
The JSERC members, however, agreed that the rate hike proposal was justified.
“Going by the presentation of annual performance review for 2012-13, revised estimates between 2013-14 to 2015-16 and multi-year tariff petition of the two licensees, it seems that their demand for a tariff hike is justified,” Krishniah added.
Tata Power, a generating unit, sells power to Tata Steel at Rs 2.86 per unit. It wants the rate to be increased to Rs 3.15 in 2014, Rs 3.26 per unit in 2015 and Rs 3.27 in 2016.
Jusco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, had sought hike in rate tariff from financial year 2013-14 to 2015-16.
“We had to apply for tariff hike due to an increase in cost of purchase of power. We purchase power from Tata Power and Damodar Valley Corporation,” said Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan.
Jusco charges Rs 1.75 per unit from domestic consumers needing more than 100 unit of power and Rs 3.25 per unit from those consuming more than 400 units.
It wants a 15-20 per cent hike from the existing rate.