Guwahati, Thursday, June 17, 2010
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Demo against power tariff hike on June 22
Staff reporter
 GUWAHATI, June 16 – Voluntary organisation Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) has appealed to the Chief Minister not to allow the power companies to effect a fresh hike in the power tariff.

Meanwhile, consultant engineer J N Khataniar has also described the proposed 13 paise hike in the power tariff okayed by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) with effect from July 1 next, as anti-people. The Assam State unit of the All India Trade Union Congress has threatened to demonstrate in front of Bijuli Bhawan on June 22 in protest against the AERC decision.

In a statement here, SGBG has also alleged that AERC has not been properly notifying the public hearings on the power tariff issue. The notices issued to invite public participation in the hearings are published in the newspapers as if some tenders are invited. Thus, the common people fail to notice that some public hearings are being held on the issue power tariff, said the SGBG.

Besides, the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) and its successor companies provide uninterrupted power supply to a good number of VIPs and high officials either free of cost or at nominal rates. ASEB and its successor companies are also paying for the unnecessary tours of their officers and unnecessary purchase of store materials etc.

ASEB and its successor companies suffer loss also due to the wrong planning, delay in commissioning of power projects and maintaining unproductive and non-viable plants, among others, said the voluntary organisation.

Khataniar in a press release alleged that the audited financial statement of the Assam Power Company Ltd (APDCL) was not furnished with the tariff petition. The petition was totally misleading

The annual losses faced by ASEB and its successor companies in 2006-07 was 0.67 per cent, in 2006-07 it was 0.94 per cent, in 2007-08 it was 1.42 per cent and in 2008-09 it was 1.59 per cent, while in other states of the country, the average losses were below .05 per cent, said Khataniar.

He argued that the common consumers should not be made to pay for the losses incurred by the power companies of the State for their wrong policies and management.

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