Pay up or learn to live in darkness

In a rather unusual threat one can expect of a government agency, the BESCOM indicated that if the power tariff hike is not imposed, they would hold the city's power supply to ransom.

In his first pseudo-controversial statement issued to MiD DAY, BESCOM Managing Director P Manivannan said that the city would suffer no end, if their demands are not met.
"If you want quality power and uninterrupted power supply in the state, then electricity charges have to be increased or else we won't be able to power," he said in a threatening voice.

BESCOM along with the other electricity supply companies have sent a proposal to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), demanding a 88 paisa per unit hike in electricity charges.

The proposal has however been vehemently opposed by citizens, as this would be the third consecutive year that electricity charges are being revised in the state.

Resident Welfare Associations from across the city have strongly opposed the hike citing that the BESCOM is already providing poor power supply. Furthermore, they point out that load shedding has resumed in several areas of the city and when questioned, officials often behave arrogantly.

"The KERC should reject the BESCOM proposal to hike electricity rates by 88 paisa. BESCOM did not file the tariff application in time and so their demand shouldn't be entertained. Why should consumers be punished?" questioned V S Arabatti, Engineer, BWSSB.

The KERC has also received 147 objections from residents of various areas regarding the hike.

"Their power supply is already very poor. Many areas do not get regular power supply for a single day. We are already worried as this is the examination season for students.

When we complain, the local BESCOM officials do not listen to us and now they want more money. This is the height of arrogance and inefficiency," said P L Rao, member, Prashant Nagar RWA.

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