Price hike leads to power tariff increase in state

GUWAHATI: Price hike of natural gas has led the Assam Power Distribution Company to increase the rate of electricity per unit by 56 paisa with effect from August this year. With implementation of the new price, consumers will have to pay Rs 5.16 for a unit of power.

"Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) has been experiencing huge deficit on account of power purchase from various agencies due to hike in price of natural gas used as fuel for gas-based stations. This has forced us to hike the price," said Subhash Chandra Das, the chairman-cum-managing director of APDCL.

"The company is having a deficit of Rs 35 crore a month. Last year, we had a deficit of Rs 152 crore and till now, the total deficit amount is Rs 340 crore," he said, adding that the company was having a shortage of 150 megawatts.

Load shedding during the peak hours, which has been harassing the consumers for several months, however, would continue for the next three months.

"We can save about 30 to 35 per cent of power from the load shedding from 6 pm to 12 midnight in the city areas and we have to continue the process for the next three months. We will take a decision on this and the price after reviewing the whole scenario," he said.

The APDCL had earlier hiked the price by Rs 25 per unit from May this year. While declaring the price hike information, the APDCL chairman appealed to the consumers to bear with them. "The increase in power tariff is not in our hand. We have to depend on the suppliers and I hope the consumers will bear with us," he said.