The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) recently announced an increase of 33 paise/unit for the customers of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM). Apart from the residents of Bengaluru, customers from Mysuru, Hubbali, Mangaluru, and Gulbarga will also have to pay around 5% (4.9%) more for electricity services from June 1 onwards.
Price Hike Necessary To Match Higher Input Costs
At present, BESCOM provides electricity supply in Karnataka’s eight districts including Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru Urban, Tumakuru, Davanagere, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Chitradurga, and Ramanagara.
The customers until now have been paying Rs.3.5 per unit for 0-30 units and Rs. 4.95 per unit for units between 30 and 100. The rate for the next higher slabs is Rs.6.5 and Rs.7.55 per unit for 101-200 units and 201-300 units respectively.
The price hike is going to put a dent into the monthly budget of the middle-class families who have to balance on a restricted monthly income. However, the officials said that there was no other option but to increase the rates as it was necessary to meet the overall growing higher power production costs.
During public hearing meetings, BESCOM officials regularly said that hike in the tariff was necessary for keeping up with the transmission and purchase costs.
Outrage Against Power Outage
Initially, the power supplying company had announced a hike of Rs.1.01 per unit but it changed the decision after receiving a lot of opposition from the public. The residents of Bengaluru are already outraged against the regular power outage.
A similar hike of 14 paise per unit was introduced in October 2018 which was the second hike of last year. In 2018, the BESCOM cited the increase in the price of coal as the reason for the hike in tariff.
The hike was because at that time KERC had allowed five electricity supply companies to add the fuel adjustment charges in their bills. Reports say that BESCOM is now gearing up to restructure its pricing slabs and make it simpler.
With two days of shower and storm throwing life out of gear in Bengaluru recently, residents are worried about how things will turn out to be when the monsoon starts. However, MD of BESCOM, C Shikha said that there is no issue of power crisis and BESCOM is ready to handle the challenges of upcoming monsoon.