Diwali dampner: ESCOMS push for tariff hike

The state electricity supply companies are mulling over increasing power tariffs by around 90 per unit, apparently to share the burden of increased power cost with customers.

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This comes when the state is already reeling under power outages due to the ongoing Telangana stir in Andhra Pradesh and people are vehemently opposing an earlier tariff hike.

Costly affair
With the whole state plunging into darkness following the curtailment of coal supply from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the state government was forced to buy power from private players. In Bangalore alone, the power shortage was over 1,000 MW.

According to an Energy Department official, the state government had to shell out over Rs 9 per unit for power during the crisis.
"More than Rs 300 crore has been spent on purchasing power and besides that there are also new tenders for buying power, which will be finalised soon. So all this is an expenditure that has to be included in the tariff petition," the official said.

The official also indicated that the revised tariff petition may also demand for a new tariff hike anywhere between 90 paisa to 92 paisa per unit. Interestingly, even as BESCOM has asked for more time, its officials have been tightlipped about the matter.

Without revealing much, P Manivannan, Managing Director, BESCOM, said that they have sought more time, as they wanted to include the details of new purchases.

"We are planning to buy 700 MW and for this, new tenders have to be floated. So we have asked for more time from the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC)," said Manivannan, adding that any further decision on the tariff petition would depend on KERC.

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