It seems the city residents may have to brace for another hike in power tariff soon as the Electricity Department has appointed a consultant to prepare a hike proposal, which will be submitted to Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).
The power tariff is regularly witnessing an increase over the past few years.
In 2011, power tariff had witnessed a 27 to 30 per cent increase in different slabs. Meanwhile in 2012, the increase was between 10 to 16 per cent in domestic tariff and 17 to 20 per cent in commercial tariff.
Last year the electricity department had sought an increase of between 40 to 50 per cent. A marginal increase was again experienced a few months after the hike when surcharge was imposed.
An official of the electricity department stated that a consultant has been appointed, who will assess the amount of tariff that is required to be hiked.
Once the proposal is sent to JERC, a public hearing will be conducted where public can air their complaints. Thereafter in May or June the hike in tariff is announced. There are more than two lakh consumers in the city with peak demand in summers topping out at 350 MW a day.
Residents have faced frequent power cuts during summers with the availability of power not matching up to the demand. Power shutdowns, scheduled and
unscheduled, are still being experienced. As the temperatures are dipping the demand for electricity has increased resulting in more power cuts.
The city residents, meanwhile opine that another hike would put a burden on them and said that in case the power tariff is hiked the supply should be accordingly improved. The residents also demanded that the distribution system also be upgraded.