Many Air Voice Of Dissent

IMPHAL, Feb 25: Different sections of the society have raised strong displeasure against the existing system of electricity supply and management during a public hearing organized by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Manipur and Mizoram at State Guest House today.

Notably, the public hearing was organized with a view to hike the power tax in Manipur.

The public hearing was held under the theme ‘Tariff petition of Electricity Department, Government of Manipur for Financial Year 2010-11. However, some other sections appreciated the ongoing drive of Electricity Department against defaulters and unauthorized consumers.

Yet many people raised strong discontentment pointing out several failures and shortfalls of Electricity Dept such as collection of tax without providing power, fixation of power tax at Rs 410 per household uniformly without calculating difference in power consumption, switching off power supply on non-load shedding days, demanding money from public for repairing transformers, corruption within power department etc.

Human rights activists said that the Joint Regulatory Commission for Manipur and Mizoram should not accept the increased power tariff being proposed by Electricity Department because the existing rate is already very high.

Pointing that Manipur is an economically backward state; he asserted that increasing power tariff in the prevailing condition cannot be justified.

Joykumar also pleaded that the Electricity Department’s current restriction on unauthorized consumers to make new power connections in legal manner should be lifted at once.

Power Department Chief Engineer A Sarat admitted that there have been several loopholes and discrepancies in Electricity Dept. However, he maintained that the department cannot be blamed for the whole problem. Saying that there is a need to collect Rs 160 crores as power tax annually, Sarat highlighted the need to cultivate a habit of paying power bills regularly.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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