Power Shortage Hits Industrial Production As Board Moves Upward Tariff Revision Petition

Shimla: Touted as a power surplus state, Himachal in mid winter is in the midst of a power crisis as industrial production schedules have been affected and urban and rural domestic consumers have to face persistent power cuts.

“There is a supply shortfall in the whole grid and we are no exception,” said a senior official of the power electricity board. To meet the 4 million shortfall, we have tied up supplies from Gujarat, Chattisgarh and private power companies. Presently we have no other option but to adopt power cuts to keep the grid stable,” he added.

Director industries Anil Khachi said “though officially we have not received any power shortage complaints but industrial production has definitely been effected because of the shortfall in supply.”

On the other hand the HP State Electricity Board has filed a tariff revision petition before the HP State Regulatory Commission (HPSRC) seeking a hike of as much as 30 percent to meet its revenues needs for the coming financial year.

Mahesh Sirkeck, director HPSRC said that the electricity board has projected a revenue need of about Rs 2762 crore for 2008-09, which is about 30 percent higher than what it is in the current fiscal.

The revenue needs also include Rs 73 crore return of capital invested, he said.

However, the board has not specified, what tariff hike it wants for which category. “As we hope to get the commission to agree to a 30 percent increase in revenue needs, the tariff hike across the various categories that could meet this need would range from anywhere between 10 percent to 30 percent,” said a board official, not wanting to be named.

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