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The Bihar Industries Association (BIA) is against hike in the electricity tariff as proposed by the power distribution companies to the Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC).
The BERC has announced public hearings at Muzaffarpur on February 17, Bhagalpur on February 20, Purnia on February 21, Gaya on February 23 and Patna on February 27 and 28 for seeking objections and suggestions from general public and consumers on the tariff hike proposals. The proposals have been made by the North Bihar Power Distribution Company and the South Bihar Power Distribution Company for the year 2017-18.
“The purchase cost of power has come down due to reduction in prices of coal and availability of low-cost power from energy exchange in recent times,” said BIA president Ram Lall Khetan on Wednesday.
The power companies can further reduce the cost through proper quality control and theft check. The transmission infrastructure is in dilapidated condition, which causes huge losses in transmission of electricity, he said.
“The national average of transmission and distribution losses is 14% while it is 46% in Bihar. The BERC has been repeatedly asking the discom companies to bring down distribution losses by 2% every year, but it increased from 40% to 46% in ten years,” Khetan said to buttress the BIA’s argument against the proposed power tariff hike.
According to BIA vice-president Sanjay Bharatiya, the cost incurred on the transmission losses is being passed on to the common man and industrial bodies. “The power companies should be held accountable for their inefficiency,” he said and called upon the consumers, who are made to pay higher energy charges for no fault of theirs, to participate in the public hearings in large numbers and raise their voice against the proposed hike.
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