By Radha Krishna Dumre,Waling, June 27: The proposal put forth by Butwal Power Company Limited (BPC) to adjust the electricity tariff for the upcoming fiscal year has been temporarily halted.
The adjustment of the electricity tariff from the Andhi Khola Hydropower Plant, proposed by Butwal Power Company, has been put on hold for the time being.
BPC submitted a report to the Electricity Regulatory Commission highlighting the losses incurred in electricity generation and transmission, along with a proposal to adjust the tariffs.
Initially, the commission had scheduled a public hearing in Kathmandu on March 24 to determine the suitability of increasing the electricity tariff.
However, the consumers in Syangja were unaware of this public hearing. In response, people’s representatives, consumers, political parties, and civil society in the district protested against the proposal of tariff hike.
Under intense pressure from consumers and due to transmission errors by Butwal Power Company, the commission concluded that the current tariff cannot be adjusted immediately.
Gorkan Raj Pantha, Secretary and Spokesperson of the Commission, informed that the decision on the proposal submitted by Butwal Power Company to increase the tariff was pending.
Talking to The Rising Nepal, Secretary Pantha said “There will be no immediate increase in electricity tariff.”
He added that the commission investigated the matter and made decision not to increase the tariff immediately, considering the strong pressure from consumers.
He said the company had also experienced some losses.
According to him, efforts were underway to sell the produced electricity to the government.
Discussions are underway regarding the possibility of handing over the project to the government, said Pantha.
He also revealed that an arrangement had been made to provide electricity to consumers in Syangja this year at the existing tariff.
Since July 2016, the company had implemented a new electricity tariff, and it was preparing to increase the tariff again due to losses incurred over a period of approximately seven years.
After the new tariff was implemented in 2016, consumers who were previously paying Rs. 2 per unit are now paying an average minimum of Rs. 5.80 per unit.
The company submitted a report to the commission stating an average loss is Rs. 5.26 per unit and proposed an increase of the same amount to cover the losses.
The company has been generating 9.3 megawatts of electricity from Andhi Khola, which is consumed by a total of 39,200 consumers in Bhirkot, Waling, Galyang, and Chapakot municipalities of Syangja, as well as some municipalities in Palpa.
The company estimates that 34.3 (3 crore 43 lakh) units of electricity are being utilized by them.
Lawmaker Raju Thapa remarked that if the commission had adjusted the tariff based on the company’s proposal, consumers would have to pay the same fees as the one charged by Electricity Authority.
He expressed relief for consumers, stating that efforts were being made to ensure regular and reliable electricity supply.
Accompanied by district representatives, Thapa promptly visited the commission upon receiving information about the proposed tariff increase and exerted pressure to prevent an immediate increase.
Source : The Rising Nepal