By Supratim Dey
After diesel price hike and bus-fare hike, consumers in Assam will have to bear another stiff hike. Power tariff in Assam will go up by Rs 1.03 from November 1, 2012. The hike will be under the Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment (FPPPA) and Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) has got the green signal from Assam Electricity Regulatory Authority (AERC) to go ahead with the hike.
Sources from APDCL informed Business Standard that in last two years the price of gas had increased “abnormally” following which APDCL had to moot the hike. “We depend heavily on gas for running Namrup and Lakwa power stations. In last two years, price of gas has increased manifold, which has necessitated the hike,” informed a senior APDCL official. The official added that the hike might only continue for a period of three months, depending upon the rate of recovery. He said the power distribution company has got the approval of AERC, the power sector regulator in Assam, to hike the tariff from November 1.
The power distribution company had been petitioning AERC for a while to hike the power tariff as per FPPPA, but the approval from the latter came lately, informed sources. The last time the power tariff was hiked in the state was in May 2011. The hike was of 25 paise. The present average power tariff for all segments, including domestic, commercial, industry, etc. in Assam is Rs 4.01. There has been a steep increase of demand of power in the last 3-4 years in Assam. In Guwahati alone, in the past five years, there has been a threefold increase in demand of power. This year Assam has been experiencing an average peak demand for power of 1,100 MW.
This is more than two times what it was five years ago.