The Recent Power Tariff Hike In UP Seems Impractical

Posted by shakeel ahmad in Politics
December 17, 2017

‘What has been decided cannot be undone’ seems to be a solid principle of the state government regarding the expensive electricity in the state. In spite of the sharp criticism by the Samajwadi Party leaders in the state assembly, there is no sign of giving second thoughts to the power tariff hike.

They have even flayed the BJP government for not listening to the people’s voice. Akhilesh Yadav has strongly protested its indifferent attitude. The hike withdrawal seems impossible because of the government’s strange silence.

Though the consumers are weeping blood in anguish, the increase appears to be an insignificant matter to the governing party. Despite being a vital need of every household, electricity has become more expensive in this most populous state.

It is after the five long years that the domestic consumers have received the jolt of the power hike. The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has increased the average power tariff up to 12%. However, authorities concerned maintained that the least load was on the consumers.

If we look back at the constant five-year increase in power tariffs, it becomes clear that it is similar to the financial year of 2012-13, when the tariff was increased to 17.60%. It was 8.9% in 2013-14, 8.90% in 2014-15, 5.47% in 2015-16, 3.18% in 2016-17 and is 12.73% now.

What was not genuinely expected by the consumers had befallen on them all of a sudden. It can positively be described as a bolt from the blue. The hike declaration has fallen into space with a great damaging shock supposedly also as a new year’s gift.

Why did the power corporation fail to strike on the constant corruption? So long as the menace of the corrupt ways was not restricted, the increase could be effective as the trend shows. Is the rate hike the only solution for the rise in revenues? Along with this irregularity, there is need to collect the long-pending dues from the big defaulters. However, these have always been a big hurdle in the way of minimising the widening losses for which the common consumers are made scapegoats.

Whether it is urban middle-class consumers or rural consumers, the hike is incredible and terrible. It is being said that this has been initiated merely to adjust the ‘burden’. The rural consumers are also feeling uneasy with the fresh slabs. They have even preferred passing nights under the darkness instead of using costly electricity.

If the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission has avoided the increase for several years, the UPERC can also follow suit. There could be various other ways to bring down the losses which the power companies were incurring for the past time. The common consumers appear to be an easy target as they are pressurised to pay more than the previously paid bill.

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Image source: Chris Hunkeler/ Flickr