Tripura is set to implement a significant increase in power tariffs starting October 1, 2023. The Tripura Electricity Regulatory Commission (TERC) has given its clearance for the move, despite potential alternatives such as reducing transmission loss and curbing power pilferage, which could have bolstered the beleaguered state power sector.
Under the revised tariff structure, domestic consumers will see a notable surge in rates. The current tariff of Rs 4.84 per unit will be revised to Rs 5.08 per unit. Additionally, the fixed charge, presently set at Rs 20.00 per unit, will jump to Rs 30.00. For consumers utilizing between 51 and 150 units, the charge per unit will rise from Rs 5.98 to Rs 6.40, with the fixed charge increasing from Rs 40.00 to Rs 45.00. Similarly, those using 151-300 units will face an increase from Rs 6.16 per unit to Rs 6.59, coupled with a fixed charge hike from Rs 50.00 to Rs 55.00. Previously, consumers using 301 units and above paid Rs 7.20 per unit, a figure that will now be Rs 7.70 per unit, with the fixed charge climbing from Rs 50.00 to Rs 55.00.
The sharp rise in power tariffs has elicited strong reactions from the common populace, who attribute the increase to transmission loss, failure to curb power pilferage, and the Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited’s (TSECL) struggles in collecting dues from various state government departments. A disgruntled power consumer remarked, “The government is attempting to shift the burden of TSECL’s and its own failings onto us; this is most unfortunate and regrettable, particularly amidst a period of soaring prices.”
The move to escalate power tariffs comes at a time when numerous states are vying to offer pre-election relief to their citizens, often in the form of exemption from power tariffs up to a consumption level of 200 units. Tripura’s deviation from this trend highlights the unique challenges faced by the state’s power sector and emphasizes the need for comprehensive reforms to ensure sustainable and affordable electricity for its citizens.