Mangaluru, Feb 08, 2019: Electricity consumers in the city, cutting across categories, opposed Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd.’s (Mescom) proposal seeking hike in tariff without improving the quality of its services, at a public hearing on tariff revision conducted by Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission here, on February 7, Thursday.
KERC Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena was in the chair at the public hearing.
A person of Bharathiya Kissan Sangha vehemently stated that there was no need for hiking the tariff as the Mescom was making profit as payment by the consumers was prompt.
“The seven-hour three-phase power supply is still a dream for the farmers. The 24X7 customer care grievances centre with toll free number of 1912 has not been a support for customers.”
It was demanded to know how many Janasamparka programmes in Chikkamagaluru had benefited the customers. “The 50 year to 60 year old electricity lines needs to be replaced.”
A consumer, said that in the name of irrigation pumpsets (IP sets), subsidy amount from the government was looted by Escoms. The auto closure system do not function properly in Udupi. Low Tension (LT) lines are not properly maintained. The power purchase cost of the Mescom is higher when compared to Bescom.
The KERC’s guidelines of installing timer switches are not followed by the Mescom. The Mescom has also failed to replace the service wires of electricity connections. In the name of energy conservation, LED bulbs were distributed to the consumers.
Unfortunately, about 60% of the LED bulbs distributed have become defunct before the expiry date.
“There is a need to initiate action against the company that distributed LED bulbs under government scheme,” Udupa said.
New tariff ; Representatives from Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said that ease of doing business should be implemented effectively. New tariff category for new industries should become a reality.
Gaurav Hegde of Kanara Small Industries Association said multi-level industrial shed connection should be given for the industries.
Rajendra representing Ice Plant and Cold Storage Owners Association said, “Though the government has considered ice plants as seasonal industry, we are not able to reap the benefit following a condition put forth by the Mescom to reduce demand and consumption by 50%.”
He also appealed to the KERC to give a special tariff rate to the plants that are functioning within 5-km radius of the seashore like in Kerala.
Another consumer, said farmers were asked to pay Rs 10,000 for new IP set connections which was unfair. The Mescom should encourage the use of modern methods of irrigation like sprinklers and drip irrigation to save energy.
A consumer from Shivamogga said the KERC should bring in an amendment to HT2c1 tariff category to check the misuse of rebate given for charitable hospitals and institutions. IT companies under the IT/BT policy are availing tariff incentives, which makes one question over social justice.
A person from Mangaluru International Airport appealed to the KERC to change the tariff of airport from commercial to industrial tariff.
KERC Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena urged the Mescom to improve the quality of its service. There is a lot of scope for improving the services, he added. KERC members H D Arun Kumar and H M Manjunath were present.