Odisha BJP to launch week-long protest demanding rollback of hike in power tariff

Bhubaneswar : The Odisha Unit of the BJP will launch a week-long protest in front of all power distribution companies beginning tomorrow demanding the rollback of a hike in electricity tariff.
Odisha state BJP President Samir Mohanty told newspersons here today that the protest will be held from July 14 till July 20 next.
Mr Mohanty said the hike in electricity tariff by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission(OERC) during the Corona period is not acceptable under any circumstances and demanded its withdrawal forthwith.
The BJP leader said the state government has not utilised crores of rupees provided by the central government to the state during various natural calamities for strengthening the power infrastructure.
Alleging that the state government has looted the money, Mr Mohanty demanded a white paper on the utilisation of the central fund giving in details of work done and money spent so far
He demanded the government to fulfil the assurance given in the state Assembly while replying to an adjournment motion and withdraw the hike in power tariff.
The BJP President said Rs 2949.66 crore electricity arrears were pending on 26 major industrial houses. The companies with a tacit understanding and conspiracy with the administration have made the state exchequer sick by obtaining a stay order on it.
An arrear of Rs 541.11 crore was pending on four power distribution companies, Mr Mohanty said adding the government also failed to collect more than Rs.515 crore water tax from 332 companies.
The state government has waived a water tax of Rs 5225 crore of Odisha Hydel Power Corporation(OHPC) to generate electricity at a cheaper rate. But despite this, the demand of the OHPC has demanded a hike in power tariff before the OERC which is very unfortunate.
He said the per-unit tariff for domestic consumers in Odisha for the first 50 units is Rs2.50 which is much higher than the tariff in Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Goa and Chhattisgarh.
The BJP leader demanded the government to provide free electricity to farmers and reduce the tariff from Rs 5.70 per unit to R 4. 50 per unit for industrial consumers and Rs2.60 per unit for MSME units as done in Gujarat for the growth of the industry in the state.
Mr Mohanty said during lockdown the CPSU under the Union Ministry of power-NTPC, NHPC, PGCIL has given a sum of Rs 84 crore assistance to DISCOMs in Odisha to purchase power to ensure uninterrupted power supply but the DISCOMS have not yet submitted the utilisation certificate.
Mr Mohanty said the state is incurring a loss as the government is selling power at Rs 3.21 per unit but buying at Rs 3.81 paise per unit. He alleged electricity bill amounting to lakhs of rupees is being sent to farmers covered under the Biju Krushak Yojana without giving them a power connection.

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