Electric shock, steep 26% power hike in Capital

The increased tariff will be effective from July 1.

New Delhi: Power tariff for domestic consumers in the Capital was on Tuesday hiked by a steep 26 per cent--the fourth increase in ten months--in a shock to people already burdened by high inflation and petrol price rise.

The new rates would be effective from July 1. The actual hike for domestic consumers is 24.15 per cent but an additional eight per cent surcharge that would be levied on the overall bill would effectively take the increase to 26 per cent, Delhi Electricity RegulatoryCommission (DERC) Chairman PD Sudhakar said.

The average hike would be 20.87 per cent if the commercial and industrial sector are also taken into account.

The domestic consumers will be the hardest hit as tariff for the segment has been hiked the most compared to commercial and industrial categories.

The regulator in August last year had hiked the tariff by 22 per cent hike for all categories of consumers. The tariff was hiked by five per cent in February and by upto two per cent in May to adjust the power purchase cost of the distribution companies.

Justifying the hike, Sudhakar said the combined deficits of three discoms have been estimated at around Rs 6,000 crore and there was no alternative but to hike the tariff. He said the DERC has decided to impose an eight per cent surcharge to help recover the private discoms part of their losses incurred in the last few years.

As per the new rates, a domestic consumer will be charged Rs 3.70 per unit for first 200 units of power instead of current Rs 3. Consumers having a monthly usages of upto 400 units will have to pay Rs 4.80 per unit of power.

For consumption above 400 units, Rs 6.40 per unit will be charged instead of current Rs 5.70, Sudhakar said.

The increase may also lead to hike in metro fares and water charges as DERC announced separate rates for power being supplied to these two entities.

The monthly fixed charges for consumers have also been hiked significantly. For a consumer having a sanctioned load of upto 2 kilowatts, the rate tariff has been increased from Rs 30 to Rs 40 while for consumers having sanctioned load between 2 kilowatts to 5 kilowatts they will have to pay Rs 100 as fixed charges instead of the current Rs 75.

The fixed charges for consumers having a sanctioned load of above five kilowatt will be Rs 20 instead of current Rs 15.

The DERC announced separate rates for industrial units, agricultural activities, public lighting etc.

For Delhi Metro, rates have been increased to Rs 5 per unit from Rs 3.80 per unit while for Delhi Jal Board it has been hiked to Rs 7.25 per unit from Rs 5.60 for load of upto 10 kilowatts.

For load between 10 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts, per unit of power would cost Rs 6.60 while Rs 8 has been fixed per unit for load beyond 100 kilowatts.

Reacting to the hike, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said DERC is an independent entity which is authorized to decide power tariff.

"The Government has yet to receive an official communication on the new power tariff. The City Government will look into it after it receives a copy," she said.

Appeared to justify the hike, she said cost of generation of power has gone up significantly.

"It is also true that the income has also gone up side by side," she said. The BJP slammed the DERC for the hike.


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