Bhubaneswar: Hike in power tariff has become essential in Orissa, a power surplus state barely an year ago, which is now passing through a phase of severe crisis, state finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadai said on Tuesday.
"The power sector is passing through severe crisis. The government has no alternative other than funding the sector in order to save it," Ghadai said, while addressing a workshop on "Tariff Setting Vis-a-Vis Sustainable Development of Power Sector in Orissa".
In order to meet the power requirement, Orissa has to purchase electricity from other states at a higher price and the tariff would be hiked under such circumstances, he said.
Predicting further worsening of the power scenario in the state, Ghadai told the gathering of panchayat and urban body representatives that the number of electricity consumers would touch 64 lakh by 2011-12 against the present 30 lakh figure.
This doubling of consumers would be possible because of rural electrification drive through the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutkaran Yojana and Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana, he added.
The finance minister pointed out that the state was presently facing shortage of about 500 MW to 600 MW daily. While the requirement was about 3,000 MW, the state could arrange only 2400 MW from various sources.