Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said that an unprecedented increase in price of coal has compelled the state government to hike power tariff by 30 paisa per unit and he indicated towards further hike. The chief minister blamed it on the import of coals which costs Rs 15000 to Rs 18000 for tonne. If coal is purchased from here it will cost only Rs 3000 to Rs 4000 per tonne.
Replying to queries of media in Raipur, Chief Minister said that crisis of coal prevails even after the suspension/closure of hundreds of passenger trains. It looks like the mines in this country are not able to fulfill the demand due to which the central government is getting coal from abroad.
The Chief Minister said the power tariff will increase when all the power plants of NTPC will increase the electricity rate. He also alerted people to be ready for more hike in coming days.
According to the officials of the power company, from January to March, the average rate of energy charge in the electricity being purchased from NTPC plants in Chhattisgarh was Rs 1.97 per unit. Between June and August, it averaged Rs 2.78 per unit. It has increased by more than 40% between these months. Officials said that due to the increase in the rate of purchase of electricity, an additional payment of about Rs 120 crore per month being paid to the NTPC. To compensate this loss, VCA charges were levied on the consumers at the rate of about 30 paise per unit. About 40% of the state’s electricity is purchased from NTPC.
The Chief Minister has expressed great displeasure over the frequent closure of passenger trains in Chhattisgarh causing hardship for the passengers.
Attacking the central government, the Chief Minister said that service is not on their agenda. Their agenda is only to make money. Crude oil has become cheaper, but there is no indication of decreasing the rate.
The Chief Minister returned after visiting three assembly constituencies in Raigarh district on Thursday. He said that his ‘Bhent-Mulaqat’ completed in all the Vidhan Sabhas of Raigarhdistrict with positive feedback. Roads have been damaged especially due to the movement of heavy vehicles in the mining areas. Work on them will start after the rain. The good thing is that the demand for Swami Atmanand English Medium School and Banks has increased in those areas too.