Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 10:
The Odisha government will be challenging the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE) orders asking the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) to compensate distribution companies (discoms), managed by Reliance Energy, by revising power tariff in the state from as early as 2006-07 retrospectively in the Supreme Court.
Sensing severe public resentment which could lead to a difficult situation for it to manage, the state government which had been hitherto trying to lob the ball in the OERC’s court in the matter of the ATE’s recent verdict in which it had expressed its unhappiness with the failure of OERC to implement its earlier orders and asked it to compensate Reliance Energy managed discoms operating in the state, by revising power tariff in the state from as early as 2006-07 retrospectively, the state government’s Energy department has begun the process to challenge the ATE’s order in the apex court.
The government will mainly move the apex court to get a stay order on the ATE’s order. The Energy department will be moving its application in the apex court in this regard after the government formally signs on the file, said a senior official in the Energy department who is in know of things.
The OERC had moved the Supreme Court on ATE’s earlier orders. But the apex court is yet to grant a stay on it. Under such circumstances the ATE’s recent order has categorically asked the OERC put in force its orders from the current year. The ATE has ordered the OERC to quash the existing tariff and revise it after conducting fresh hearings on the matter with retrospective effect from as early as 2006-07.
Therefore unless the Supreme Court orders a stay on the ATE’s recent verdict there will be no alternative left than revising power tariff with retrospective effect.
The dilly dallying of the state government to move the higher courts when it comes to the interest of the consumer despite it earning Rs 600-Rs 800 crore as electricity duty from them Electricity Workers’ Union leader Ramesh Chandra Satpathy has called it as “most unfortunate”.
“In Reliance Energy managed discoms Southco, Wesco and Nesco it’s the state owned Gridco which has 49 percent stake I wonder how the government has been keeping its fingers crossed like a mute spectator when these companies have been going against consumer interest to the ATE time repeatedly ?” asked Satpathy.
“The government should make it clear whether such decisions were taken at the board meeting of these discoms”, the Union leader pointed out.
If the ATE’s orders are implemented power tariff will be revised from 2006-07 with retrospective effect and per unit cost of electricity can jack up by as high as Rs 5-6 on the existing per unit cost entailing a burden of around Rs 5,000 crore on consumers.