Power bills to get costlier in Bengaluru and rest of Karnataka

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Bengalureans and people living in the rest of Karnataka are set to pay more for their monthly electricity bills as the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has approved a hike of 40 paise per unit for all electricity supply companies in the state like BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company).

According to officials, this would mean on average, electric bills for an will increase by a little more than 5%. Officials said the cost has been increased as a measure to strike balance between the rise in demand and cost of supply.

The 40 paise hike has been granted by the KERC at a time when BESCOM and other suppliers had sought a hike of Rs 1.26 per unit. The hike also comes at a time when a section of Bengaluru residents have been complaining about BESCOM overcharging its customers.

In February, the Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) had pointed out that many consumers are made to pay for BESCOM’s inefficiency. Bescom had reported a revenue deficit of Rs 5,872 crore in the previous year.

BPAC said that Bengaluru had the highest transmission and distribution losses in the country at a loss of 16.42%. This at a time when other places like Delhi have a much less transmission and distribution loss at less than 9%. BPAC said this was due to a huge amount of electricity consumption that goes unbilled and BESCOM has done nothing to counter this power theft over the years.

BPAC also pointed out that there is often leakage of power subsidy given to farmers where the subsidy is misused by others, leading to further losses for BESCOM. Further, they stated that BESCOM’s inability to collect dues on time leads to cash deficit and constantly borrowing for operational expenses making it prone to debt servicing.