New Delhi: Amid widespread anger against hike in electricity bills, Delhi`s power regulator DERC today made adjustments in the tariff structure which could reduce monthly bills of low-end consumers by around 15 per cent.
In an order, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission announced reversing its earlier decision to abolish the 201-400 units slab and introduction of 0-400 units slab for calculation of tariff.
Restoration of original slabs means consumers will be charged Rs 3.70 per unit upto consumption of 200 units while Rs 5.50 will be charged for consumption between 201 and 400 units.
The regulator has hiked per unit rate by 10 paisa for consumption beyond 400 units for domestic consumers and decided to charge Rs 6.50 per unit against current Rs 6.40.
The DERC had abolished 201-400 units slabs while announcing 26 per cent hike in tariff in June. The decision to revert to original slabs will come into restrospective effect from July 1 when the hiked tariff came into force.
The abolition of the 201-400 had resulted in significant increase in tariff as a consumer was charged Rs 4.80 per unit if his consumption crossed 200 units. In its June order, the DERC had fixed Rs 3.70 per unit for consumption between 0-200 units while Rs 4.80 per unit was fixed for the new slab of 0-400 units.
The DERC has now decided to charge Rs 5.50 per unit for consumption between 201-400 units.
"The Commission has observed that the proposed rationalisation would definitely benefit the consumers in the range of 200 to 400 units where the percentage increase in bills would come down on an average by 15 per cent," DERC Secretary Jayashree Raghuraman said.
Giving an example, she said the monthly bill of a consumer consuming 201 units as per existing rate would have been Rs 964.80 which will come down to Rs 745.50 following reintroduction of 201-400 slab which means a reduction of tariff by 22.73 per cent
As per DERC calculation, the monthly bill for consumption of 400 units will come down by 4.17 per cent as the bill would be Rs 1840 instead of Rs 1920.
Raghuraman said all the three private distribution companies have been told to make suitable adjustments in the next bills to provide the benefits of introduction of 201-400 units slab.
After widespread complaints of inflated power bills, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had proposed to revert to earlier slabs for calculating power tariffs and held public hearings on the issue earlier this month.
"Monthly consumption of majority of consumers in the city does not go beyond 400 units. I think the adjustment will benefit most of the low-end consumers," said Raghuraman.
Earlier, the DERC had proposed to charge Rs 5.70 per unit for consumption between 201-400 units.
The BJP has slammed DERC for increasing the rates for consumption between 201 and 400 units from Rs 4.80 per unit to Rs 5.50, saying the party will continue its protest against hike in tariff.
"The DERC has made changes in the slabs at the request of Delhi Government. It is actually a kind of cheating with the people of Delhi. The movement of BJP to protest against power tariff hike will continue with full force till increased in power tariff is withdrawn," Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta said.
Various RWAs, which have been protesting against hike in tariff, slammed DERC for inconsistency in its functioning.
"It is a clumsy attempt to rectify a mistake. It is time to wind up DERC and money thus saved alone will give a higher relief to the consumers reeling under the impact of arbitrarily hiked tariffs over the past 10 months," said Rajiv Kakria of GK I Resident Welfare Associaation.