GUWAHATI, June 13 � Without speedy measures on the part of the Government to bail them out, the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) and its successor companies are sure to face a serious situation in the immediate future.
For, the ASEB and its successor companies have been incurring a deficit of nearly Rs 45 crore every month for purchasing power from the open markets, meeting the hiked fuel prices and clearing the enhanced salary bills etc of their employees, among others, ASEB sources said.
Moreover, despite its procuring around 120 to 150 MW of power during the peak-load-hours from the open markets at the rate of Rs 3.50 per unit, the State is facing these days a shortfall of around 120 MW to 150 MW of power during the peak-load hours. Instances are there when this shortfall touched 200 MW.
Again, the State is now facing a short supply of around 50 MW of power during the off-peak-load-hours. It is procuring around 50 MW of power during the off-peak-load-hours at the rate of around Rs 4 per unit, say the sources.
On June 10, the peak-load-hour power demand of the State was over 1,050 MW, while its off-peak-load�hour power demand that day was 714 MW. Against these demands, the power availability of the State that day was 950 MW and 660 MW during peak-load-hours and off-peak-load-hours respectively.
On June 6, the peak-load-hour power demand of the State was 1,049 MW and the shortfall during the period that day was around 177 MW, said the sources.
Hike in the prices of gas has burdened the ASEB and its successor companies with an additional expenditure of Rs 22 crore per month, while for additional power purchase they are spending an additional amount of around Rs 10 crore.
They are spending an additional amount of around Rs 10 crore to clear the enhanced salary bills and Rs 5 crore to clear the enhanced pension bills of their employees
During the lean season, the ASEB and its successor power companies have to depend more on the gas-based thermal power and their prayers for adjustment of the recent hikes in the prices of fuel with the power bills have been pending with the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC).
The ASEB and the successor companies had to pay even at the rate of around Rs 6 per unit for the purchase of power they made from the open market, said the sources.
The present situation demands that the ASEB and its successor companies should be allowed to realize, as fuel price, between 55 paisa and 60 paisa against each unit of power, from their power consumers, said the sources.