Assam Cong announces state-wide agitation from Oct 3 against power tariff hike

GUWAHATI: The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has announced a series of agitations across the state from October 3 to 5 in protest against the hike in per unit price of electricity by Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) with effect from this month.

“A series of protests against the reckless and recurrent hike in power tariff will be staged on October 3 at every block level, on October 4 at panchayat level, and on October 5 in every district headquarter,” APCC president Bhupen Kumar Bora said on Sunday.

Notably, the APDCL has increased the per unit price of electricity with effect from October 2023 after a revision of the Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment (FPPPA) rates.

In a notice issued by the tariff regulator cell to power consumers in the state, the APDCL stated that the FPPPA rates would be in effect from October 2023 onwards. The adjustment will apply to energy consumed during September 2023, and will continue until a further order is issued.

The FPPPA rate has been revised to 30 paise per unit up to 300 units for domestic consumers; 50 paise per unit for consumption between 301 and 500 units; Rs 1.29 per unit for consumption of more than 500 units. The FPPPA rate for other categories (commercial, industrial, etc.) will be Rs 1.29 per unit.

“The latest tariff hike notice will be burned as a mark of protest. We pledge before the people of the state that the day Congress returns to power in Assam, every family will get 200 units of free electricity,” Bora said.

Criticising the incumbent state government, the state Congress president, said that BJP came to power by assuring a 24-hour uninterrupted power supply. “But now the entire Assam is suffering from severe power cuts/load shedding. Assam requires 2600 megawatts of electricity. However, it continues to produce 250 megawatts of electricity as before,” the APCC chief said.

Bora further said that despite APDCL reporting a profit of Rs 33,635 crore in September 2022, there has been a recurrent power tariff hike. “Government is allowing APDCL to make profits at the cost of public inconvenience by recurrent exorbitant power tariff hikes,” he alleged.

The APDCL notice stated that for smart prepaid consumers, the applicable FPPPA charges for energy consumed during September 2023 will be charged in 92 equal daily installments from October 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023.

“For other conventional prepaid consumers, the FPPPA will be made applicable on a prospective basis,” the notice read.

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“Any adjustments regarding short or excess recoveries due to seasonal variation in consumption within the stipulated period will be adjusted in subsequent periods or as may be directed by the competent authority,” it read.

Taking to X, (formerly Twitter), Borah had on Saturday expressed, “The rate at which electricity prices are increasing, it is becoming unbearable for the common man. Did people vote BJP to power so that they are forced to undertake voluntary power cuts (due to high electricity prices)?

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