Mangaluru: General public, farmers, and industrialists voiced their opposition to the electricity fare hike proposed by Mangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (MESCOM).
The public hearing was held, at the auditorium of the office of the deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada here on Monday, regarding the MESCOM’s proposal for hiking electricity tariff by Rs 1 and 30 paise for the year 2022-23
At the hearing, chaired by KERC Chairman H M Manjunath, MESCOM MD Prashant Kumar Mishra explained the rationale for revising the power tariff.
In the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, the revenues of MESCOM have been down due to the slumped demand for electricity, Mishra said and added that the upward revision of fares is necessitated to cover the costs of spending needed for up-gradation of electricity infrastructure, including the new substations.
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To which the electricity consumers who had gathered vehemently opposed. Industrialist B A Nazeer said all sectors of the economy are reeling under the effects of the Covid pandemic. The industrial sector, especially the MSME sector, has completely collapsed. In such a situation raising the power tariff would be a death knell for the surviving industries, he said.
Satyanarayana Udupa, leader of Udupi District Bharatiya Kisan Association, raised the long-standing demand for farmers for installing electricity meters for agricultural pump sets.
Responding to the objections raised, KERC chairman, H M Manjunath assured that the commission will take everyone’s opinion into account while deciding the electricity tariff. Power tariff will be revised in such a way not to unduly burden the consumers, he added.
Smart electricity meters by 2025
Smart Electricity Meters will be installed across the areas served by MESCOM by 2025 under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) of the Central Government. “This ambitious project will be implemented in a phased manner,” said MESCOM MD Prashant Kumar Mishra.