Friday, June 14, 2024

Scrap 14% hike in true-up charges

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K Venkateshwarlu

The Congress has submitted a memorandum to Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) Chairman T. Sri Ranga Rao requesting him to rescind the permission given to the Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd (TSSPDCL) and the Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Ltd (TSNPDCL) for a 14% hike in True Up Charges immediately as this is a backdoor attempt to cover up their failures and burden the common man.

Former TPCC general secretary Bakka Judson, TPCC general secretaries Uzma Shakir and Laxman Yadav, and TPCC KKC chairman Aitha Giri Babu submitted the memorandum on Monday.

The Congress leaders said that the definition of True Up Charges is the gap between the cost of power supply and collection of bills by Discoms. The additional cost includes the cost of power purchase by Discoms to meet demand.

The leaders said that it is appalling to note that Discoms are now trying to burden the consumer due to the monumental lethargy of the Discoms in collecting payment for electricity bills from consumers. The State Government departments alone owe a massive Rs 20,840 crore to Discoms.

It is a shame to note that the following white elephant departments owe money to the government while the government claims to be the number one in the country.The Irrigation Department has to pay Rs 9,200 crore, the Panchayat Raj Department Rs 3,900 crore, the Hyderabad Water Supply and Sewerage Board Rs 1,100 crore and the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Rs 2,300 crore.

The Congress leaders said that Discoms who disconnect the electrical connections of commoners immediately after the due date is not applying the same rule to government departments. How can the expenditure on power purchase be Rs 29,200 crore more than TSERC commission’s approval seven years ago? What has the TSERC done to stem this? The TSERC’s approval given to Discoms to charge 14% True Up Charges is nothing but a clever game hatched by the Government and the TSERC to fool consumers.

The TSERC has failed to protect electricity consumers from technical jargon like True Up charges invented by Discoms to fool gullible commoners, the Congress leaders said.In addition, the Congress leaders said that Discoms have informed the TSERC that there is a huge gap between the power purchase cost and power bills collection during the period 2016-17 to 2022-23 as follows: Power Purchase cost was Rs 1,87,656 crore, power billing and collection was Rs 1,43,903 crore and the unmet gap is Rs 43.653 crore.

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