The Kerala HT and EHT Industrial Electricity Consumers Association has opposed KSEB’s proposal to impose 25 per cent power drawing restriction, saying it is ‘unjustifiable’.

When a 25 per cent power restriction is imposed, power consumption above the quota will be charged at rates as high as Rs 11 a unit. The monthly liability for the industry will be huge and the continuous increase in power tariff, under the guise of restriction, will push several manufacturing companies to lay off workers or even to close down, the association members said at a press conference here on Friday.

George Thomas, president of the association, said that KSEB’s proposal would be considered by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission early next week.

Industrial users are of the opinion that the proposal for power restriction is unnecessary now, given the power requirement of around 53.5 million units on an average. This can be met with power available from hydro, Central Government stations, traders and liquid fuel stations.

KSEB could manage with a daily hydro generation of 8.59 million units in November against an average availability of 12.52 million units daily, he said.

Thomas also pointed out that the average cost of power in the energy exchange was Rs 3.03 for over 4 billion units sold to industry in 2011-12. A long-term sourcing agreement by KSEB will make the low-cost power available.

“If KSEB is not getting power at such rates, it can only be due to the absence of long-term planning and agreements,” he added.

Further, the steep hike in power tariff since July has provided the Board an additional revenue of Rs 1,677 crore a year, he said, adding that there have been steep hikes in tariff this year.

Sanjeev P.Thomas, executive member of the association, pointed out that the well-being of the industry is not a concern for KSEB. Granting of permission to industrial consumers to purchase power within and outside the State is being delayed by KSEB citing one reason or another.

Besides, incentives for load factor and prompt payment has not been introduced in Kerala so far, though similar incentives are in place in several States, he said.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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