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Hike in power tariff likely
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, May 5 – There is a likelihood of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) going for further enhancement of the power tariff. This time, the power company may go for raising the power tariff by Rs 1.78 per unit, under the provision of the fuel and power purchase adjustment formula, to recover an amount of Rs 403 crore within the next six months.

 It needs mention here that till April last, the power company was charging an additional amount of 69 paise per unit since July 2011 under the provision of the said formula and it is going to charge an additional amount of 7 paise from the current month under the same formula.

Sources in the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) told this correspondent that the power company has been facing a serious crisis following the Gauhati High court’s refusal to admit its appeal on the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s orders to pay an enhanced amount to the generating stations of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Power Grid Corporation Ltd (PGCL), etc. against fuel and power purchase charge and transmission tariff with effect from April 1, 2009 till end of 2011-12 fiscal. The Gauhati High Court refused to admit the power company’s appeal on May 2. This has made it mandatory for the APDCL to pay Rs 403 crore to the Central Sector Generating Stations and power transmission company as an arrear amount for the said period.

It is estimated that if the same amount is recovered from the retail power consumers of the State, the impact on the retail tariff would be Rs 1.78 per unit if it is required to be liquidated within the next six months as per the order of the CERC, said the ASEB sources.

The APDCL moved the State Government for financial assistance with an aim at not burdening the retail consumers with the above additional fuel and power purchase charge. The State Government advised the power company to move the court seeking legal remedies. Accordingly, the power company moved the Gauhati High Court, sources said.

The APDCL will again move the State Government with a plea to provide assistance for overcoming the present crisis. In case the State Government fails to come forward then the power company will have no other way left to it rather than going for enhancing the power tariff, sources said.

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