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Mahara demands abolition of fixed charges in power sector

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Cong opposes hike in power tariff

By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 26 Apr: Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee President Karan Mahara has strongly opposed any hike in the power tariff in the state. In a statement issued today, following the announcement by the Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) of a hike in the power tariff, Mahara demanded that the state government withdraw the increased electricity rates.

Mahara claimed that the state government has once again cheated the poor people of the state. He said that during the tenure of almost 8 years, the state government has cheated the people of the state by increasing electricity rates repeatedly. Karan Mahara asserted that, since the time of the Covid pandemic, the state has been struggling with various challenges first posed by the global pandemic and then the rising inflation and unemployment. The PCC Chief claimed that the people’s means of employment and businesses are badly hit due to poor governance at the central and the state levels. The government policies have resulted in higher inflation in every sector and the government has been ignoring the sufferings of the people. Due to unemployment, people are facing the brunt of inflation. In such challenging times, instead of reducing the prices of water and electricity, the BJP government has chosen to hike the power and water supply tariffs.

Mahara reminded that Uttarakhand is known as a power generating state and that there are 25 hydropower generation projects in the state including THDC, Maneri Bhali, Koteshwar, and various others. He said that the state of Uttarakhand is known as a power producing state. Presently, there are 25 hydro-electric projects (6 medium and 19 small) in Uttarakhand including Tehri Dam, Koteshwar, Maneri-Bhali, under construction stage with a capacity of 2378 MW under construction. In addition, 197 other projects are proposed in the state with an estimated capacity of over 21,000 MW. In such a scenario, power should be supplied at the cost of Rs 1.50 per unit to the state consumers, he claimed.

He also said that the farmers of the state should be given free electricity for farming because the land of the farmers here has been acquired for the construction of power projects and installation of power transmission lines for which no compensation has been given to the farmers.

Mahara said that the government collects rent from the electricity consumers in the form of meter charge for many years in advance, whereas the cost of the electricity meter is recovered within a short time and a huge amount is collected as security while taking the connection.  He demanded that the state government should immediately withdraw the increased electricity rates, provide free electricity to the farmers of the state, along with bringing the consumers into one category and, after two years, fixed charges and meter rent should be abolished from the consumers, he demanded.