Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Janshakti Manch (OJM), a citizens’ group, has appealed to the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) that power consumers in the state are paying more tariff in comparison to their counterparts in other states of the country.
Even though Odisha is a power surplus state, households consume less than 200 units of electricity per month and pay Rs 945. However, the consumers in Andhra pay Rs 620 while people in Delhi get power free of cost.
The households in Chhattisgarh pay Rs 861 and people in Punjab pay Rs 672 as power bill. The households in Tamil Nadu get 100 units of free electricity bimonthly, claimed the outfit.
The outfit further claimed that the power tariff in Odisha is very high as the rates are determined by the OERC in accordance with the estimation and projection of expenses provided by the distribution and transmission companies.
The cost-based tariff concept and the actual cost of the DISCOMs have not been given priority during tariff fixation, it said.
“No audit has been taken up to find out the exact expenses and losses incurred by the DISCOMs. The rates were drastically reduced in Delhi after an independent audit. Hence, an independent audit must be conducted in Odisha before any rate revision,” the outfit added.
While many developed states provide power free of cost for agricultural purposes, while Odisha taxes its farmers heavily. Farmers in Punjab, Karnataka and Maharashtra consume 30 per cent of power for agricultural activities while the figure is 2 per cent in Odisha.
Agriculture in Odisha remains backward due to high electricity tariff, it said. “There is no mention of assets worth Rs 20,000 crore created from the public funds through government grants and investments in the audit report submitted in agreement with TATA Power, the new power distribution company,” it added.