Skip to content

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Welcome to Tamilandu Electricity Board Engineers' Association

News updates about Indian Power sector. News and articles related to Indian Power Sector  and technology trends.



21.05.2013:- Anna University News: Admission to BE/B.Tech under consortium of Industries for 2013-14


Installed Generation Capacity in india  :   1,64,508 MW   

    For Region wise Split up  - click here to download the PDF file....

                             11.02.2013 Kudankulam could be commissioned in a ‘few days’: Official                     



Click the Articles to Get Details

06.07.12 Delhi power demand touches all-time high

06.07.12 Solar City Project: final plan to be ready soon

06.07.2012 மின் தடையா... நடுநிசியிலும் புகார் செய்யலாம்!...

06.07.2012 More meters by July: TANGEDCO

06.07.2012 TN insurance plan to cover cost of treatment, diagnosis ... 















TNEB looks at new technology to tap more wind

Tamil Nadu could soon be tapping wind energy in a more scientific and reliable way, with the Centre for Wind Energy and Technology (CWET) bringing in state-of-the-art equipment to gauge offshore wind potential. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) is also planning to involve more equipment manufacturers to augment resources. TNEB will soon initiate talks with wind energy equipment manufacturers to commence a joint study on setting up windmills at lower altitudes. CWET has installed a mast called sonic detection and ranging (Sodar) in Dhanushkodi to study the wind generation potential near the ocean. The mast is 1,000 metre high and can be moved.

"The device can tap wind speed and other details for a distance of one kilometre. We do not plan to study coastal sites in and around Chennai," said P Kanagavel, a scientist at CWET.
Most Sodar systems issue an acoustic pulse and listen for the return signal. The intensity and the Doppler (frequency) shift of the return signal are analysed to determine wind speed. Sodar measures three-dimensional wind vectors from 30-1,000 meters.

According to CWET executive director S Gomathinayagam many industries across the country are showing interest in setting up wind energy units in Tamil Nadu. The wind energy potential in the state is nearly 4,988 MW, of which less than 3,000 MW is generated. As most of the ‘A' category wind generation sites like Coimbatore, Palakkad, Theni and the southern districts have been exploited, TNEB is planning to get help from private wind generation players to search for alternative sites.

"Compared to last year, the demand has gone up by 18%, despite the power usage restrictions for industries. We need more wind generation units across the state. It is said that at on-shore sites, wind generation is good below 600 meters. But we cannot carry out the study by ourselves, hence we are planning to rope in the industries," said a senior TNEB official.

Meanwhile, wind generation in Tamil Nadu has been dropping drastically. Two days back it was just 11 MW and on Monday it increased to 1,000 MW. "We have started purchasing about 2,000 MW as per the day's demand. We cannot rely on the wind alone anymore," said a senior TNEB official.













IIT-Kanpur to set up experimental solar power plant

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has planned to set up a 550 kilowatt (Kw) Solar Energy Research Experimental Station (SERES) in its campus. The station would serve the purpose of solar energy development research apart from a pilot project for improving the commercial viability of solar energy generation. It would provide uninterrupted free power supply to six neighbouring villages, Nankari, Bara Sirohi, Singhpur, Bakunthpur, Naramau and Kachchar. The villages are electrified, but the present power supply is highly erratic. The work for setting up the plant will begin within six months and is expected to complete within four years.

The Rs 18-crore project has been taken up as a part of the ongoing golden jubilee celebrations at the institute. The project has already received the IIT Board's nod, and a 11-member team headed by Professor D B Singh has been constituted to work out the details. According to, Sanjay Govind Dhande, director, IIT-Kanpur, the cost of the project will be borne jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IITK.

Currently, the solar power produced in India costs around Rs15 per Kw hour, whereas conventional energy costs as little as Rs 3.5 per Kw hour. The institute will bring in team from the biotechnology, electrical departments to work on reducing the production cost of solar power to make it more economical and commercially viable.

According to Dhande, the project will be modelled on the German mode of solar power generation after conducting the requisite studies on production and transmission. The land has been identified at Shivli Road, near the institute, for setting up an energy distribution centre to supply power to the villages.

Dhande, said there is an acute power crisis in many parts of the country, and the onus to explore renewable and non-polluting energy sources rests on the research centres like the IITs.

Since solar energy is expensive than thermal or hydro energy, he said, "Through this project, we will undertake research on reducing the cost of solar energy so that it can become affordable for people." The 500 Kw plant will be sufficient to provide electricity to the six villages, he added.

A number of activities, including the launch of nano-Satellite ‘Jugnu', have been planned to mark the golden jubilee year and will continue until December 2010.

Founded in 1959, IIT-K has produced over 24,000 meritorious students working worldwide since its inception.













India's Power Sector - Problems and Prospects

(Theme and content of the proposed study by Industries Research & Services Sponsored by the officers and workers organisations in Power Sector in India)

1. During the four and a half decade since independence Power generating capacity in the country has increased by more than thirty times. Electricity generation has increased more than fifty times. About 15 million farmers use subsidised electricity today and about 50 million Indian households arc electrified. The number of consumers connected to the Indian power grid is 75 million which is Fifty times the pre-independence figure.

The India's power system today with its extensive regional grids maturing in to an integrated national grid, and its millions of kilometers of T & D lines criss crosing the country, are truly symbolic of the successes and failures of the developmental path pursued since independence.

2. Facts and figures about the physical growth of India's power system may sound hollow and deceptive in the background of common perceptions about the proverbial inefficiencies of the state electricity boards, the financial losses incurred by them and the perpetual power crisis that is being endlessly debated all over the country. Per capita consumption of electricity in India is only 280 KWH per year even today, a small fraction of that in USA or other developed countries. But it has increased nearly fourteen fold since independence, where as the per capita national product has only doubled. Thus the national economy dominated by the private sector which accounts for the lion share of the work force, was growing at a much lower pace when compared to the power sector that is managed by the public sector. The cost of producing, distributing and selling electricity in the country, even after accounting for all the direct and indirect subsidies is three to four times lower compared to those prevailing in the developed countries. While judging the success and failures of the power development policies pursued since independence and suggesting solutions for power crisis, these basic facts are often underplayed or even altogether overlooked.

3. The Electricity (supply) Act of 1948 has provided a broad frame work for power development in post independent India. The Central Electricity Authority and the State Electricity Boards come into existence as per this act as the custodians of power utility services in the country. During the early years of Indian independence, the Central Water and Power Commission together with the Planning Commission had developed the national perspectives and programmes for the rapid electrification of the country.

4. Development of indigenous capabilities in the design as well as manufacturing and construction technologies of power related systems and equipment were very much an integral part of these perspectives, so that the national electrification programme could be not only cost effective but also self sustaining. The country could not afford continued import of capital goods and technologies needed for power development at exorbitant costs to the ex-colonial powers. This as well as the need for diversification and expansion of the national economy into the capital goods sector prompted the public sector initiatives for the manufacture of power plant equipment. India with its large population base as well as low per capita consumption of electrical energy was correctly perceived by the Indian planners as a big potential market for power related equipment for several decades to come. BHEL as well as several other successful enterprises in the public as well as private sector arc examples for the rapid building up of technological capabilities in these sectors under such policy perception. India's capabilities today in thermal and hydel power equipment as well as power system engineering arc somewhat unparalleled among the developing countries. With regard to nuclear power with its total system capabilities including fuel processing, India has taken a ring side scat along with half a dozen developed countries. All these national capabilities have helped the country in a big way

in keeping down the investment costs in the power sector to a large extent in spite of the poor linkages within the national economy due to inadequate planning and the consequent dependence on imported inputs and pressures generated by "foreign aid agencies". The national enterprises in the power sector with their extensive experience, expertise, and skilled man power arc today a major asset of the national economy. Their competence and competitiveness have been proved even in the international market.

5. The NTPC that came into existence during the mid seventies has made commendable contributions in expanding thermal power capacities in the country partly due to the channelising of foreign credits for which there was no dearth during the eighties. Its counterparts the NHPC and the NPC have also now matured into national level organisations with immense capabilities and expertise in their respective areas. The state level Electricity Boards with a total employee strength of around seven lakhs have played a vital role in power development. But they are put into an irrational financial squeeze-thanks to the unaccounted subsidies, they are forced to extend as part of public policy. Loss of financial autonomy is not only causing their degeneration but also distorting the missions and objectives for which they were set up. The Regional Electricity Boards as well as the CEA that were created for regional and national level planning and coordination are rendered helpless thanks to the loss of a national vision and the dilution of planning process itself at the national level. But all these organisations together with their expertise and experienced man power represent an invaluable asset for the power development programme of the country.

6. The question of providing fuel for power generation that was nearly doubling every seven or eight years also to be necessarily tackled at the national level; The Coal India, the ONGC, the GAIL, the public sector Refineries, the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd etc. were the public sector organisations set up for this purpose. The Indian Railways and the Shipping Corporation of India play an important role in the cost effective transportation of fuel for power generation. The direct and indirect investments as well as "the developmental initiatives for the power sector was thus primarily channelised through the public sector. Such a strategy was necessary if (he huge investments were to be cost- effective at the national level so that electric power is made available at a price affordable in a backward economy for its sustained growth and development.

7. Electric power was thus always perceived by the Indian Government as a cheap infrastructural service to be provided by the public sector, and the Indian Electricity Act, 1948 had envisaged that public utilities should make it available on a no- loss no-profit basis. The direct investments made in the country for power development every year are of the same order as the annual revenue earnings of power utilities from the sale of electricity. Revenue surpluses of the utilities hardly cover the depreciation costs of power systems and there is very little of plough-back for additional investments. Thus a sizeable proportion of the national savings has to be diverted as investments in the power sector. In addition to loans and subventions from Government, domestic savings arc mobilised through loans and bonds either directly or through financing agencies like the Rural Electrification Corporation and the Power Finance Corporation, by the electricity boards for investments. Resource constraints in the financing of national power development programmes arc cleverly utilised by the developed countries for forcing 'aid packages' through bilateral and multilateral loans. The disruptive role of such 'aid packages' and the consequent escalation of investment and operating costs in the power sector arc not yet properly evaluated and understood.

8. Successes or failures of the policies and programmes for power development initiated since independence need to be objectively evaluated from a national perspective in quantitative as well as qualitative terms. This can be done only through international comparisons using appropriate economic criteria. But without any such rigorous analysis the Govt. of India has now prepared itself for fundamentally altering the course of development in the power sector in an arbitrary manner. The resources and foreign exchange crisis are used as an excuse for ushering in fundamental changes in the development strategy. The World Bank and other international agencies had always held that energy, especially electricity in our country, is priced much below the international levels. This, in their opinion was inhibiting the entry of private capital both Indian and foreign to the power sector. The Govt. Of India has now amended the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 and has created the necessary, 'legal and financial environment' for enabling Indian and foreign private capital to set up power system and to produce and sell electricity more or less on a cost-plus basis through the state level electricity boards or otherwise: Consequences of such a policy will undoubtedly be far reaching.

9. Common people and farmers of India are thus faced with the immediate prospects of a sharp hike in their electricity bills. Industrialists in many sectors of the national economy arc already concerned about loosing their competitiveness in international market. Economists are skeptical about the capability of the Indian economy to sustain such high cost power development programmes. There is a widespread fear that the working of the national level institutions and enterprises that were created since independence in order to promote cost-effective development of the power sector will get disrupted and the wealth of expertise and experience gained through four and a half decades of national development will get ultimately destroyed as a result of these new policy prescriptions.

10. The proposed study "India's Power Sector: Problems and Prospects" - will collect and consolidate the facts and Figures related to India's development experience in the power sector and present them for facilitating a meaningful discussion on the policy options available to the country. In brief it will:

(i) Objectively evaluate the success and failures of the national policies as well as the institutions and enterprises that came into existence since national independence.

(ii) Examine critically the implications of the recent policy initiatives by the Govt. of India and

(iii) Explore alternative policy perspectives taking into account the problems of the national economy as well as the strength and weakness of India's power sector.






Delhi to get India's first waste-to-power plant

                In what is slated to be India's first major waste-to-power project, Delhi on 26-06-2010 laid the foundation stone for a public-private partnership project which will convert thousands of tonnes of municipal waste into power everyday. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit laid the foundation stone for the project at Okhla which will convert 1,950 mega tonnes of waste into electricity every day. The Rs 200-crore project is in partnership with Jindal SAW and Jindal Ecopolis.

                The company has signed an agreement to sell electricity to Delhi at Rs.2.45 per unit. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who laid the foundation stone of the project, said it will not only generate clean power but will also help dispose off more than 25 percent of the 7,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste generated daily.

                "The consumption habits of modern consumers are causing a huge waste problem. Garbage disposal is a formidable challenge being faced by Delhi. Its three landfill sites are saturated and hardly any land is available in the city to open a new landfill site. The project will overcome the problems of scarcity of landfill land and power being faced in the city," said Dikshit.

                 The project is being developed as an integrated waste management system with a power plant. It is registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for earning carbon credits.

                 For the project, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have both agreed to make available 1,950 tonnes of solid waste per day free of cost.

                "The plant will convert 1,950 tonnes of waste -- equal to 200 truck-loads into 16 MW power. The project is first of its kind and, on completion, will be the largest plant of its kind operational in India. It will address both bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste," Dikshit said.

                  The plant will also have an effluent treatment unit. Dikshit said another such plant will be setup by Delhi International Airport Limited at Ghazipur. This will produce around 8 MW power from 1,300 tonnes of waste.












Namakkal to generate clean power from chicken litter



     Chicken droppings, which do not get a second look even by most poultry farmers, are used in generating electricity in namakkal, a non-descript Tamil Nadu village. At a time when big power producers are leaving an unmistakable carbon footprint, this method uses clean means, earning the company a clean development mechanism certification.The chicken droppings produce methane gas at a farm in Goundampalayam in Namakkal district and the gas is converted into electricity using a patented technology of a local farmer-turned-entrepreneur. The farmer sells the dried litter slurry generated as a residue as manure for farmers. He uses a method based on an Israel technology and converts the remaining liquid scum as liquid NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) fertiliser. Though generating energy is not new to the region as a handful of farmers are producing gober gas to generate power for captive use, the district hasn’t seen the complete conversion of poultry waste into useful products.

A few years ago, Chennai-based GK Bio Energy was producing power from poultry litter in Namakkal and was supplying 1.5 mw to the grid using a foreign technology. It is said the company closed due to mismanagement. But sources say a German company has tied up with an Indian partner to re-vitalise this plant.

Known as the poultry hub of India, Namakkal has 80% of the poultry business concentrated within the 50-km radius in the city. The district produces 2.5 crore eggs a day, which generates a turnover of around Rs 7 crore per day. The layer bird feed industry alone makes a turnover of another Rs 7 crore a day.

A layer bird generates litter of around 50 grams a day and the 3.5 crore layer birds in the district produce 1,600 tonne litter per day.

Subhashri Bio Energies (SBEL) MD S Durairaju told ET that if the total poultry litter in the district is collected and processed, nearly 16 mw power per hour can be generated along with 800 tonne manure and 10,000 litres of liquid fertiliser as by-products.This translates to 60 mw power per hour potential for the whole country as nearly 6,000 tonne poultry litter is generated in India every day. It is benefiting the farmers as they get to earn around Rs 13 per layer bird in its lifetime from just its litter. It is actually 30% of the profit that a farmer earns through a layer bird in its lifetime of 1.5 years.

SBEL, which was started in 2004 with an investment of Rs 60 crore, today has capacity to generate 3.75 mw power per hour. At present, the company has an agreement with TNEB to supply 2.5 mw per hour through grid. “We use 10% of the power generated for captive purpose to run these processes. In future, when we produce electricity to full capacity, then we will have the option to sell to outside parties also,” said SBEL executive director D Salai Sivaprakasam.

The indigenous method was initially conceptualised by Mr Durairaju and a pilot project was put in place in 1998 with an investment of Rs 1.5 crore. Following its success, the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) sanctioned the existing project and chipped in with Rs 6 crore as government subsidy, besides giving tax exemption to import of machinery.

In reality, the poultry litter is more damaging to the fields due to uncontrolled disposal practices. It was also contributing to emission of greenhouse gases namely methane and carbon dioxide thus polluting the atmosphere.

Tamil Nadu Co-operative Marketing Federation (Tanfed) special officer A Sankaralingam said the organic manure (PSO6) from SBEL is being sold through primary agriculture credit societies in Tamil Nadu for the last one year















India has highest power tariff per unit in the world !!!

                 Prolonged shortfalls in power supply throughout the country have led India to boast the highest cost per unit of electricity in the world. During the first half of the 11th five-year plan, the cost rose to Rs 5.9 per unit for the 59,000 crore units flowing through the sector’s various mechanisms for inter-state trading, according to a Planning Commission report.

               With short supply causing the price of power to rise, those states with excess energy have made a profitable scheme out of the sale of power, while managing to keep their consumer tariffs low. Unfortunately, states with power deficits are dictating power exchange trends resulting in frequent unscheduled interchanges (UI).

Each day, regional load dispatch centres prepare for the next days’ power consumption by asking states to declare how much power they will be supplying to the grid and how much they will require. When states are unable to keep their word and end up withholding power from the grid or withdrawing excess energy, they pay an unscheduled interchange surcharge ranging from 12 paise per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 735 paise per kWh, depending on the fluctuation in frequency.

Along with supply shortfalls, these UI’s have caused massive inflation in rates, which are then passed on to consumers. And although these fluctuations in grid frequency draw additional financial burden on both the deficit and surplus states, approximately 41 per cent of the volume of power trading comes from UI.

Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh are the chief violators, bringing in 58.86 per cent of the power traded through UI. Their partners in crime: Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Orissa, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh., comprised of 47.39 per cent of the UI supplied to the deficit states. “All the states that are supplying power, they’re making money and using it for development of other infrastructure,” said an official with the Indian Energy Exchange.

“Many states under-draw so they can earn that money,” said Promod Deo, chairman, central electricity regulatory commission (CERC). “We are trying to reduce it through regulation; UI should not be used at all.”

 More than 48 per cent of power traded has come through bilateral exchanges while just under 11 per cent is exchanged on India’s two power exchanges.




Rashtrapati Bhawan becomes ISO certified 'green' building



On a day when President Pratibha Patil completed three years in office, Rashtrapati Bhavan was presented with an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001:2004 Certificate for having emerged as the country's first urban habitat with excellent environmental management systems. A year after she assumed office, Ms. Patil initiated a project, "Roshni Programme," which was aimed at making the President's Estate a plastic-free zone and pushed for introduction of energy-efficient practices.

The President's Estate adds a feather to its cap by becoming the first urban habitat in the country to be ISO 14001:2004 Certified. The ISO 14001:2004 certification means that standards set by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) for Environmental Management Systems are now in place in the President's Estate. The certificate was formally received by Dr. Christy Fernandez, Secretary to the President from the Director, Bureau Veritas Certification India. All residents of the President's Estate have given their whole hearted support and contribution during the past two years in making the township ISO compliant. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Shri Jaipal Reddy and the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit were also present amongst others.

The Certification was one of the goals of the Roshini Project, inaugurated by the President of India in 2008. The Roshini Project is envisaged as a catalyst for change to build sustainable habitats. At the inauguration, the President had said that the Project would add another dimension to the President's Estate and urged the residents to take part in it to make it a success. The President had stressed during the inauguration that every individual has the responsibility to pass on a better world to the next generation.

The Roshini Project is an initiative that aims at making the President's Estate a green and an environmental friendly habitat in which good practices of conservation and efficient use of resources are encouraged, and which can be an ideal for other townships in the country. All components of the Project strive at not only making the quality of life for the resident's of the President's Estate, more meaningful and better, but also to showcase these to visitors.

The major components of the Roshini Project are:-

1. Waste Management

A. Solid Waste Management - a new Waste Segregation and Recycling Programme - RRR (Recycling, Reuse and Reduce) has been introduced with the active support of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). Residents have been trained in segregating bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste generated in each house and a system of door to door collection of this waste has been put in place. A Self Help Group (SHG) of women has been trained in composting the biodegradable waste, which on an average is between 300 - 400 kgs. per day. The organic manure generated, is being used in the President's Gardens. So far about 320 quintals of vermi-compost has been prepared by the SHG since October 2009.

B. Rain Water Harvesting - The focus is a concept of zero wastage of water. All waste water will be recycled and the rain water will be harvested in the President's Estate. Rain Water Harvesting in the Rashtrapati Bhavan has been taken up in the past. Till 1991-92 it covered 42 percent of the area of the Estate. This process has been further augmented in collaboration with the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) by collecting the run off from the areas which were earlier not covered, by diverting rain water from these new areas into specially constructed recharge structures. As a result, now 100 percent of the areas have been covered.

2. Environment Protection and Pollution Control

A. Increase in green cover, tree census, protection of flora and fauna in the President's Estate - efforts are being made not only to increase green cover but also to protect the ridge area in the President's Estate and to mend and replace dry and dead trees. More than 11,000 trees have been planted in the President's Estate, Rashtrapati Nilayam, Hyderabad and the Presidential Retreat at Shimla. The survival rate of these plantations is 90 percent. A Tree Census and report was taken up with the help of the Horticulture Wing of NDMC. A report on the Field Study of Peacocks has also been prepared under the aegis of the World Pheasant Association.

B. Nature Trail - a Nature Trail spread over 75 acres has been developed in the President's Estate with the help of the Department of Environment and Forests, Govt. of NCT of Delhi. This trail showcases the bio-diversity of the President's Estate. Since its inception more than 3000 visitors mainly from schools have come to the Trail which has 136 wild and cultivated plant species as well as 84 animal and 32 bird species.

C. Ban on usage of Plastic bags and replacement by more eco-friendly products -Usage of plastic products specifically plastic bags, is discouraged in the President's Estate. However, a total ban could not be imposed in the past for want of suitable alternatives. Now under the Roshini Project, use of more eco-friendly products is being promoted. Under this initiative SHGs of women have been trained in making paper bags, which are being used in shops inside the Estate.

3. Energy Conservation

A. Energy Audit and Conservation - Based on a project report on energy conservation, measures are being taken to conserve energy in the Estate and the President's Secretariat. Usage of energy efficient electrical appliances is also being promoted.

B. Usage and Promotion of new and renewable sources of energy - Solar photovoltaic panels have been installed in the new Auditorium, Health Centre and President's Secretariat Officers' Institute. In addition 100 solar street lights have been installed in the Estate. Solar powered water heating devices are being installed in residences. As result in one year more than one lakh Kw per hour of electricity consumption has been reduced, resulting in monetary savings of Rs. 6.50 lakh. In addition, a 25 CUM Bio-gas plant has been installed in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Khadi and Village Industries Corporation (KVIC) for the kitchen of the President's Body Guard (PBG) and the Army Guard Kitchen situated in the President's Estate. These kitchens' were previously using LPG cylinders for cooking purposes. The plant uses about 600 kgs. of cattle dung per day and provides cooking fuel for about 70-80 persons in the PBG Mess.

C. Replacement of LPG by Piped Natural Gas (PNG) - more than 1000 houses in the Estate have been converted to PNG, supplied by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL). In addition PNG is also being supplied to the President's main kitchen.

Other activities under ROSHINI

Five Self Help Groups (SHGs), engaged in activities like vermi and organic composting, masala grinding, beauty culture and production of paper bags are also part of the ROSHINI initiative.

‘Sopan', a crèche is also in operation in the President's Estate for the benefit of the children of the contractual labours and daily wage earners working in the President's Estate.













Article : Dated 15.06.2010

Assam State : Power Tariff to be raised by 13 paise/unit wef July 2010


                             Electricity consumers in Assam will have to pay 13 paisa more per unit from next month.Announcing this at a news conference here today, the chairman of Assam Electricity Regularity Commission (AERC), J. Barkakati, said the hike was necessitated to meet increased fuel and power purchase costs. The hike will come into effect from July 1.

Barkakati said the impact of gas price increase on electricity tariff had been a concern to all utilities in the country, particularly electricity generated from gas-based power stations purchased by distribution licensees for supplying electricity to the consumers.

Twenty-six per cent of Assam's total power comes from the gas-based power project at Kathalguri and the Agartala gas-based power project.

While the consumers in the state on an average are paying Rs 4.41 per unit of electricity consumed, it will be Rs 4.54 per unit from July 1 next.

"This has also been the case for Assam for quite sometime now and Assam Power Distribution Company Limited, a distribution licensee, has been serving the consumers by supplying electricity purchased from central generating stations of the Northeast, in addition to their own generation from hydel and thermal power stations," he said.

The share of electricity purchased from central sector power stations is 53 per cent, whereas the state's own share is 33 per cent. The remaining 14 per cent is provided by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) and Delhi Land Finance (DLF).

The Assam Power Distribution Company Limited had proposed 17.86 paisa per unit hike in tariff as their fuel and power purchase costs had increased.

Central generating power stations, including those of the Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited, have been raising bills on account of fuel charges to the licensee during 2008-09.

The tariff order issued by the regulatory commission in July 2009 did not have provisions for such additional fuel adjustment.

"This has caused financial hardships to the distribution licensee on non-timely payment of dues to their suppliers on account of energy received by them," Barkakati said, adding that the unforeseen situation has aggravated the buying capability of the licensee, necessitating it to appeal before the commission.

Barkakati revealed that in states like West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi and Gujarat, there is a fuel surcharge already in place, primarily for power purchase costs, which are totally beyond control.

In the tariff order issued by the commission in July last year, the rate for 2008-09 was the same as in 2007-08. Till July 2009, it remained the same, for which the licensee could not realise this additional fuel cost from consumers incurred in 2008-09.

"This additional burden is currently managed by the distribution company either by taking a loan with interest or diverting internal resources which has ultimately affected the financial viability of the company," he said.

He referred to the provisions of Electricity Policy, 2003 pertaining to tariff policy, which states that uncontrollable costs be recovered speedily to ensure that future consumers are not burdened with past costs.

A public hearing was held on May 13 where residents and industries opposed the power tariff hike proposed by the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited.

"Power is the main input. We are trying to come out of the recession and the hike will hit us and will have a cascading effect," R.S. Joshi, president of Federation of Industries and Commerce of North Eastern Region, said.

The Consumers' Legal Protection Forum has strongly protested against any hike in power tariff. "It should start computerised billing system and introduce other facilities before talking of a hike," chief co-ordinator of the forum, Ajay Hazarika, said.