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Talks on tariff hike

Power may become costlier

Ranchi, April 24: Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) has said that with the end of the third and final phase of voting in Jharkhand, it would begin work on fixing new power tariffs for all seven distribution licensees of the state.

T. Muni Krishniah, member (engineering), JSERC, said, “Beginning tomorrow, we shall begin the process of holding public meetings on the tariff proposals submitted by the seven power producers in Jharkhand namely, Damodar Valley Corporation, Tata Power, Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company, Bokaro Steel (SAIL) and the three subsidiaries of Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, which are Jharkhand Urja Utpadan Ltd, Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd and Jharkhand Urja Sancharan Nigam Ltd.

The final tariff charts would be announced after these deliberations.

Revision of power tariffs in Jharkhand had been stalled since December 2012 with the retirement of former JSERC chairman Mukhtiyar Singh, leaving Muni Krishniah as the sole member. As per the JSERC Act 2003, a quorum of two members is required to hear cases, determine power tariffs and conduct regular business. However, with only one member on its rolls, the regulatory body ceased to function.

The last time power tariffs were revised was in 2012. Sources revealed that a number of power producers have already expressed their displeasure over the paralysis of the regulator.

It was only in January 10, after more than a year, that the state government finally appointed Sunil Verma, former member (economic and commercial), Central Electric Authority, New Delhi, and retired deputy comptroller and auditor general, as JSERC member (finance). This restored the much-needed two-member quorum, enabling the regulator to function again.


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