Consumers oppose proposed Mescom tariff hike

10:17 PM, Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

 Mescom tariff Mangaluru : Consumers and farmers’ representatives have said that people should not have to bear the burden of the failure of Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (Mescom) in collecting bills and bringing down the transmission and distribution losses.

They were participating in a public hearing by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission on Tuesday over Mescom’s proposal to hike tariff by 80 paise per unit.

President of the Electricity Consumers’ Forum Ramakrishna Sharma said that the Mescom had failed to take steps to bring down losses from transmission and distribution of power.

They had also neglected consumers from rural areas by taking a long time to attend to their complaints. He blamed the negligence of the Mescom personnel for the loss in revenue.

Disagreeing with the proposed hike, Satyanaraya Udupa of Bharathiya Kisan Sangha said the company need to act against corrupt practices in their offices to generate profits. The Mescom had failed in taking measures that are consumer friendly, he claimed.

K.L. Venkatagiri Rao from the Consumer Rights Forum of Sagara said that there was a lack of connect between Mescom officials and their consumers. Consumers were not treated with courtesy and the funds reserved for consumer awareness programmes were not put to use.

Devada Shettigar, a representative of the Ice Plant Owners Association, said that Mescom has not considered plea of relief in the tariffs for the ice plant units that were currently reeling under losses.

Making a presentation, Mescom Managing Director Chikkananjappa said with the increase in costs, including that of power purchase and operation and maintenance expenses, Mescom required additional revenues of 95 paise per unit. It could meet this cost by increasing tariffs by 80 paise per unit, he said.

Mr. Chikkananjappa said with the current tariff changes, the company could realise Rs. 2,307.9 crore for 2016 against the revenue requirement of Rs. 2,665.2 crore.

Mescom has to revise the present tariff in order to meet the deficit of Rs. 357.3 crore. Therefore it has proposed for the increase of 80 paise.

MSEZ, which has a power distribution licence since January, 2014, has proposed a tariff of Rs. 9.18 per kilowatt of power for the eight industrial units and one unit that was under construction.

With this they have proposed a tariff they would generate an income of Rs. 72.05 crore, said Managing Director of MSEZ Rajiv Banga.

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