While industry in Goa is continuously finding fault with the power supply situation in the state, one thing it cannot complain about is the rate of tariff.
A recent meeting between industry- electricity department and JERC officials revealed that, industrial units in the state are charged the lowest tariff as compared to other states.
Officials disclosed that, Goa is the only state where the hike in tariffs was less than five per cent in the last few years. It was pointed out that, the electricity tariff for industrial consumers is about Rs 6 per unit and comparatively industrial consumers in Maharashtra are charged Rs 9 per unit. The tariff for residential and commercial consumers in Maharashtra is Rs 14 per unit and Rs 11 per unit respectively, disclosed JERC officials.
Officials pointed out that, Goa has one of the best utility in the country. However the despite being the best utility, the “state electricity department lags in service quality and reliability,” it was disclosed. The meeting revealed that, industry is also the largest consumer of power, accounting for over 60 per cent of the total consumption vis-à-vis households and agriculture.
A half-day workshop to apprise local industry on the tariff process, business plan of the electricity department was held at GCCI where representatives from several large and small companies raised issues faced by them.
With iron ore mining closed, the industry said that it was in “dilemma about contracted power” as companies ended up incurring expenditure on power despite being closed.
The request from mining companies was on temporary disconnection on contracted power. However officials pointed out that, temporary disconnection would require a notice period of six months during which the electricity department would continue to levy charges on the contracted power.
Another demand from industry was on open access power that allows large users to buy cheap power from the open market. However officials from the electricity department were discouraging to open access power and disclosed that infrastructure for it is “not set up in the state.”
Officials from JERC urged industry to be active consumers by attending public meetings with the electricity department. “It will help to streamline technical and commercial problems faced by industry,” said officials.
A road map for Goa power sector was released by the GCCI during the workshop.